Torre de Manila ‘violates visual integrity’ — Unesco advisory body

By , on August 31, 2015

Torre de Manila obstructs the skyline view behind the iconic Rizal Monument in Luneta Park (Bernard Testa / Facebook)
Torre de Manila obstructs the skyline view behind the iconic Rizal Monument in Luneta Park (Bernard Testa / Facebook)

MANILA — Torre de Manila allegedly violates the visual integrity of the Rizal Monument according to an important advisory body to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

The International Committee on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) recently passed a resolution stating that the construction is violation of the Rizal Monument’s visual integrity.

It also called on “all national authorities of the Philippines … to develop and implement conservation measures for the protection of the … monument and its setting.”

According to conservation architect Augusto Villalon, the president emeritus of Icomos, the resolution was passed during the 18th general assembly in Florence, Italy.

The international body is a non-government organization, which serves as an adviser to the Unesco for heritage conversation and protection.

Villalon said that the position of Icomos on the issue is that the “Torre de Manila building violates provisions on landscape and setting stated in Republic Act No. 10066, the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009, and international principles stated in the Unesco World Heritage Convention, Icomos Charter of Venice, Australia Icomos Burra Charter and others, specifically provisions regarding the setting of historic monuments, which include guidelines on protecting the visual integrity and landscape settings of monument with regard to skylines and silhouettes that form the backdrop of a monument when seen from key vantage points.”

He added that “both the Icomos Charter of Venice and the Australia Icomos Burra Charter specify that the setting of monuments goes beyond the monument itself to embrace the urban setting in which it is found, and that the sites of monuments must be the object of special care in order to safeguard their integrity, to ensure that they are cleared and presented in a seemly manner.”

“These are international conservation guidelines likewise violated by the Torre de Manila construction.”he added in the same report for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.