Home Headlines “Capilla de Piedra” puts SMA at risk of losing its designation as World Heritage

“Capilla de Piedra” puts SMA at risk of losing its designation as World Heritage

by sanmigueltimes
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The delegate of the INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia), Sergio Tovar Alvarado stated that UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) made a strong call to the city of San Miguel de Allende and Mexican authorities, in reference to “Capilla de Piedra”, a huge residential development, that is causing a negative impact that endangers the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage of the city, and therefore, positions San Miguel at risk of losing its designation as World Heritage by UNESCO.

The project known as “Capilla de Piedra” is a residential development that consists of 336 small houses built on top of an elevated lot right in the downtown area, overlooking the San Miguel cathedral, and seriously harming the panoramic colonial image of the city of SMA, going against INAH’s guidelines and regulations.


Tovar stated that the situation is more than serious since the construction of this housing complex, is absolutely out of proportion and not aligned with the law of historic buildings and monuments, having a deep negative  impact on the panoramic view of the city.

“Capilla de Piedra” was authorized in the year 2009 for the construction of 220 housing units, and in 2012, mayor Mauricio Trejo (whose no longer in office of course) authorized 336 homes.

capilla de pieda

Apartments being built (Photo: sinembargo.mx)

Tovar Alvarado said: “They are building a series of houses and apartments right next to the area of ​​historic monuments, and the negative visual impact evident”.

“What is happening in San Miguel de Allende threatens the UNESCO status. Therefore, we are warning the municipal authorities, they have to be a lot more careful at granting construction permits for projects such as “Capilla de piedra”.

“The city claims that this occurred during the past administration, but the fact is they never consulted us about the impact on the city, and UNESCO is threatening to take away the designation as World Heritage”.

Sergio Tovar added: “I understand that the developers propose to reduce the number of buildings projected in the original master plan, but they better make a whole new master plan if they don’t want to cause a serious damage to the city of San Miguel de Allende.


Sergio Tovar Alvarado, INAH delegate (Photo: sinembargo.mx)

Finally, Tovar cited a similar case, a development called “Casa Colorada”, in which the investors had to demolish a part of the construction because it went against INAH’s regulations. This costed them to loose part of the investment, but had to do it, even though the project was authorized by a previous municipal administration, headed by ex mayor Luis Fernando Gutierrez Marquez.

Source: http://www.sinembargo.mx/

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