Columbia’s Director of Historic Preservation Dissertates on Monument Conservation

January 13, 2020

Jorge Otero-Pailos, Professor and Director of Historic Preservation at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), presented a master class beginning January in Chile on experimental conservation of historical monuments.

During the meeting "Critical preservation and dynamism of heritage," organized by Chile’s Ministry of Culture, Art and Heritage and the National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA), participants discussed the issue of heritage conservation considering challenges such as pollution, graffiti and the present and future role of monuments in relation to communities.

“This is a necessary debate, and it becomes even more urgent with what happened in recent weeks with our monuments,” said the Minister of Culture, Art and Heritage, Consuelo Valdés, referring to the social upheaval that has affected Chile since October and the resulting destruction of national monuments. “The scale of the damage seen and [the corresponding] recovery is a task and commitment for all of society and for us in particular at the Ministry of Culture. It also invites us to reflect on new ways and perspectives for its care and preservation.”

Following Otero-Pailos’ presentation, which included heritage dynamism, the floor was opened up for conversation in which Minister Valdés participated, as well as the Undersecretary for Cultural Heritage, Emilio de la Cerda, and the MNBA director, Fernando Pérez.