Iphan opens consultation on Embu tombstone and revolt

The historic center of Embu das Artes (SP) is under threat and may even disappear, according to collectives and artists in the city. The allegation is that a draft made available for public consultation by the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan) in September puts at risk the preservation of the colonial architecture characteristic of the city’s central region.

Known for its handicraft, mainly furniture, the city has a Jesuit building erected between the 17th and 19th centuries, which houses the Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário, listed by Iphan and Condephaat (Council of State Historical Heritage) and the Museum of Sacred Art .

The church’s architecture has characteristics of the Baroque style of São Paulo and a rich collection of images of angels, saints and biblical characters, almost all carved in wood, modeled in terracotta or in roca frames, produced between the 17th and 19th centuries.

Iphan inaugurated the participatory process to change the site’s preservation rules on September 16, publishing a form for submitting contributions on its official website. Artist groups in the city say, however, that they were only notified of the opening of the public consultation on October 1st. The reduced deadline is one of the factors that generated indignation among city dwellers.

The first communication made by the Municipal Department of Culture of Embu on the City Hall website about the public consultation took place only on October 8th. O Brazil in fact tried to make contact with the municipal administration, but did not get a return until the publication of this report. The space remains open for demonstrations.

“We only have 15 days to raise a debate with society. This is our first demand: the postponement of the popular consultation so that society can organize debates, so that everyone knows what it is about. The questionnaire has 58 complex questions for understanding. It takes time for a lucid and fair response from the citizen,” said Marcel Moreno, historian and artist from Embu, in an interview with Brazil in fact.

Click to access the full documents of the public consultation: form, images, maps, notice of public consultation and administrative processes.

“The draft invites the population to answer a questionnaire in which the question is precisely whether the surroundings of Cidade das Artes, that is, whether the perimeter that makes up the listed building, still remains or not as a historical value. The square, Largo 21 de Abril, that is, the entire area, is not listed, but is recognized as a historical value,” said Moreno.

Among the changes proposed in the draft is the flexibility of regulation of advertising equipment and other interventions in the buildings of the historic center. The text also proposes changes in the tipping area. The proposal in the draft also includes the division of the historic center into three sectors, so that “a transition can be made between the listed property and the rest of the city in an adequate way to the spatial relationship”.

According to Moreno, “the city of Embu das Artes is also a scenic city, in the sense that the architecture around the Museum of Sacred Art is colonial architecture. It is true that it has been altered in the last 25 years, a lot has changed, but we still have conserved this scenic city”.

“Our great fear and the imminent danger, if this draft is approved, is the reduction of the historical landmark, so that this scenic city disappears for commercial interests, for the interests of capital. We may end up losing the status we have as a city historical and touristic,” he explained.

The plastic artist and sculptor Mário Ramos, who studies the artistic history of Embu, explained to Brazil in fact the cultural importance of the region. According to him, in the 60s, the first sculptors, artists and artisans arrived in the city, “laying rags on the ground, selling sculptures and handicraft objects”.

“The cultural movement gained even more strength with the arrival of Solano Trindade, from Tadakiyo Sakai, artists who brought friends from Praça da República. [SP]. This warmed up the artistic movement in the historic center. Tourists, art admirers also arrived. In this way, the thing gained a lot of weight and Embu das Artes ended up becoming a city known nationally and internationally,” he said.

“It’s tiring, it’s always a struggle with the government, as there is no work to divulge, promote and conserve this artistic and cultural capacity”, laments the sculptor, who says he has participated in mobilizations for more support for the city’s artists for more than 15 years. years old.

The report contacted IPHAN to question whether there is a possibility of postponing the consultation and whether the agency considers the allegations that “the historic center may disappear”, but has not received a response so far. If the agency responds to the questions made by the Brazil in fact, the answer will be added to the full story.

Edition: Anelize Moreira

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