Heritage conference discussing ways of protecting historic buildings

Ensuring that historical sites are safeguarded for the benefit of  future generations, the National Trust of Guyana in partnership with World Monuments Fund, has organised the Georgetown International Heritage Conference.

The three-day conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara includes facilitators from the United States of America and the United Kingdom as well as from the University of Guyana, sharing their expertise to preserve, promote and protect Guyana’s heritage resources.

Ron Anthony making his presentation
Ron Anthony making his presentation

There was also a photographic exhibition, showcasing historical buildings and monuments, including the Red House, St. George’s Cathedral and the Georgetown City Hall along with The 1763 Monument, The Brickdam Independence Arch and the Enmore Martyrs Monument.

The conference which ends today is being held shortly after the country’s 50th Independence celebrations and stakeholders benefitted from topics including; management and policy, history and theory, documentation and conservation, heritage sustainability and economics of preservation.

In his presentation on the Considerations for Wood in Historic Preservation & Building Conservation, Ron Anthony, President & Wood Scientist for Anthony & Associates Inc., USA, highlighted skills on choosing wood and effecting repairs to structures.

He pointed out that some of the grading rules include looking for knots or remnants of lumber, which result in weakness of the wood and for pinholes caused by termites.

He told participants too, that to maintain the integrity of structures and retain the historical fabric, they must check for moisture caused by a leak that would result in the wood becoming rotted.

He noted that not just the wood should be fixed, but the leak as well. Anthony also advised against using “sopping wet mop” when cleaning the structures.

Giving an example of how this rule was not observed, Anthony showed a photo on his power-point presentation, of the Georgetown City Hall, where a new wood was installed next to a termite-infested piece.

The issue of moisture getting into the St George’s Cathedral was also raised and it was noted that the height and size of the windows were factors that prevented them from being closed every time it rains.

The World Monuments Watch had included the historic 1889 Georgetown City Hall on its 2014 World Monuments Watch, which calls “international attention to at-risk cultural heritage sites around the globe.”




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