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Blanas Caribbean Forts and Hurricanes

Blanas Caribbean Forts and Hurricanes

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07/20/2010

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US/ICOMOS 12
th
International Symposium“Preservation in Peril”New OrleansMarch 11-152009
THE PROTECTION OF THE FORTIFICATIONS IN THE CARIBBEAN ANDTHE IMPACTS OF HURRICANES AND TROPICAL STORMS.WHICH WILL BE THEIR FUTURE CONSEQUENCES?
Tres Reyes del Morro Castle. Havana. Cuba
Dra. Lic. Juana Tamara Blanes Martín. (Cuba)National Center of Conservation, Restoring and MuseologyMember of the Board of Directors of ICOMOS-CUBACoordinator in America of ICOFORT (International Scientific Committee of Fortifications and Military Heritage)
 
PRESENTATION
I am very happy to be here with you, participating in this important Symposiumorganized by the United States ICOMOS. I thank Mr. Donald Jones and the rest of theauthorities who made it possible to organize this event in relation to the natural disastersand the threat to the cultural heritage preservation in the current world.In this exchange of experiences, I feel obliged to talk about the anguished conservationproblems of the fortifications in the Caribbean and about the more – intense – every – year impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes, between June and November. As Coordinator of  the American region of  ICOFORT and in the name of a lot of people who work in the fortifications conservation in the Caribbean, I convey to you theirrestlessness and deep concern, with the commitment of exhorting you to ask them toundertake the actions derived from this congress.2
 
PATRIMONIAL VALUATION OF THE FORTIFICATIONS OF THECARIBBEAN
The Caribbean fortifications constitute acultural heritage of historical andmonumental relevancy. They were builton a great scale to protect the Hispaniccommercial colonies in the region. Theirmultiple typologies were of Europeanorigin and they were coupled to thescientific, technical and armamentsdevelopment, from the XVI century tothe XIX century, the period of the Spanish colonization in America.
San Diego de Acaulco Castle. Mexico.
The Caribbean is very important because itwas the space where the conquest,expansion and colonization of Americawere undertaken. Here, a commercialroute between Spain and its colonies, of great political, economic and socialrepercussion, was settled down. Also,nineteen typologies were built whichevolved historically as towers, strong-holds, castles,bul-warked fortresses, redoubts, ramparts, turrets,platforms, bastions, magazines, batteries, horn-works, military cross-paths, defensive lines, lines of observation, fortalices, barracks, guard-houses,trenches and military hospitals.
Mar CaribeSan José Redoubt. Campeche. Mexico.
Their multiple designs were mainly drawn by Italian, Spanish and French militaryengineers. Stonemasons, bricklayers, carpenters, blacksmiths, designers, slaves, andsalaried workers took part in this great building enterprise.3

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