martes, 19 de octubre de 2010


The Church of N.S. de Pompei

Church of N.S. de Pompei, Domenico Filippone. Caracas, 1967-69. Main facade.

The Church of Nuestra Señora de Pompei is located in the Calle San Miguel of urbanización Alta Florida, in the Municipio Libertador. It was built between 1967 and 1969 by the Italian architect Domenico Filippone, author of the famous Casa Italia (1955) in La Candelaria, with the patronage of Venezuela´s Italian community. Its relevant aesthetical values are an exemplary showcase of Caracas 1960s modern architectural language. Therefore, it was included in the I Censo del Patrimonio Cultural Venezolano, done by the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural.

Church of N.S. de Pompei, Caracas, 1967-69. Interior.

Currently some alarming remodeling works are being practiced to the church. These consist in replacing the main facade´s original sculptural enclosure made in plaster with a few coarse clay panels. The disrespectful substitution alters the church´s concept and its interior architecture, and also destroys the effect of natural light and the ventilation entering through the facade. Part of the sculptural modules have been demolished already to insert red clay panels.

According to the information provided by the parrish, the works are being done "in order to provide greater security and to control the entry of doves". This, clearly, does not justify the damage done, since the original closure could have been temporarily removed to install a protection in the middle of the wall, not affecting the aesthetic value of the patrimonial building.

Iglesia de N.S. de Pompei. Caracas, 1967-69. Dismantled panels.

We want to call on all the architectural community, the residents of the Alta Florida and especially the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural (to which this same message has been sent in a letter written by worried citizens) in order to find a solution that would achieve the sought safety and comfort without altering the conditions and the original spatial concept of the architecture. This 1960s modern temple has been designated a Good of Cultural Interest and therefore any attempt to change it must by law be reported, monitored and approved (or not) by the Instituto. We must stop and reverse this harmful intervention to this modern heritage… now endangered.

Versión castellana aquí

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