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Saturday, May 31 • 10:00am - 10:30am
(Architecture Session) Protection of Cultural Sites: The Case of San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula, Oaxaca

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Cultural nominations are meant to safeguard the recipients; however they do not always bring the intended protection. To be successful nominations need to be the first steep of a continuous and permanent conservation process, more so when dealing with vulnerable urban contexts. The particular characteristics of each monument or site as well as the commitment of the stakeholders, contribute to what happens after the nomination. Heritage protection responds to social realities and to economic and political priorities; in places where there is an array of needs, conservation stops to be considered necessary and nominations do not suffice to spare the cultural heritage of being neglected or even lost.

Oaxaca is a state rich in culture, however, it only possess two sites recognized by the Mexican government as historic heritage sites, one of them being the City of San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula. The fact that Teposcolula is, besides the capital of the state, the only site that has received a government nomination as historic heritage site, reflects its relevance in the region. Teposcolula´s physiognomy, landscape, architectural characteristics and urban structure in general, and its XVI century Dominican religious complex in particular were its outstanding attributes that had already been officially acknowledged in 1930. Teposcolula’s religious complex contains an open chapel unique in the novo Hispanic religious constructions. Nevertheless, being nominated was not followed by a strategic plan but by some unconnected actions. The transformation processes and evolution proper to urban settlements have put at risk some of those attributes that were supposed to be protected. Currently the heritage that has survived is being lost or damaged and an institutional plan has as yet still to be developed.

This contribution is part of a project that aims to have a positive impact on the care of the heritage of San Pedro y San Pablo Teposcolula. It presents the first results of a study that focuses on the architectural heritage of Teposcolula. The study includes the identification, registration and cataloging of the heritage as well as a historic analysis carried out to understand the processes that have generated the urban landscape and preservation conditions observed currently. The relevance and impact of nominations as single actions is questioned and the special characteristics of the community that include poverty and migration are discussed.


Vera De La Cruz Baltazar

LACS Recipient, Facultad de Arquitectura “5 de Mayo”, Universidad Autonoma Benito Juarez" de Oaxaca"
Dr. Vera De La Cruz is a Professor at the School of Architecture of the State University of Oaxaca, Mexico, where she is also the coordinator of the PhD Program. Vera obtained her B.Sc. in Chemistry with specialization in biochemistry and microbiology at the National Autonomous University... Read More →

Saturday May 31, 2014 10:00am - 10:30am PDT
Garden Room