Tuesday, June 07, 2011

If it’s broke, fix it

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee needs to call a moratorium on pulling down Christchurch’s heritage buildings and get to Venice, and he needs to get to Venice quick. This is the Brownlee who said about Christchurch’s heritage buildings, "While they are part of our past history, they have no place in our future history. As I've said repeatedly, heritage is both forward and back and from this point on, we decide what the heritage of this city will be."

When he gets to Venice, and he might as well bring the team of people who are giving the ok to demolish heritage buildings in Christchurch, he’s going to find a whole city (a city that has had many earthquakes of its own in the past) that he and his mates would put under the bulldozer.

Brownlee could go round cracking Venetians up by telling them that their buildings were a grave risk to personal safety and that the old stuff he saw around him has no place in Venice’s ‘future history.’

The team could spend a year or so red-stickering practically every architectural structure in Venice and then, go back to Christchurch and see the risks around our own heritage buildings in a completely different light. Things do fall down in Venice – the 98.6 metre Campanile in St. Mark’s Square dropped to the ground in 1902 and the Venetians did what any city proud of its heritage would do. They put the damn thing up again.
Image: Venice (click on image to widen cracks and increase leans)