The World Monuments Fund has included Cuenca’s Remigio Crespo Toral Museum on its 2014 – 2016 watch list of endangered properties. The museum joins such buildings as the Nortre Dame cathedral in Paris and the Catherine of Siena monestery in Buenos Aires.
According to Monuments Watch, the Remigio Crespo Toral Museum, located on Calle Larga, suffers from deteriorating structural problems, including a leaky roof. The designation qualifies the museum for international financial assistance. The Cuenca historic district committee says it will also contribute to the cost of restorative work.
Museum director Ramiro Endara says he welcomes the watch list designation. “This is actually a positive development,” he said. “It shows the historic value of the museum and will make all of work harder to restore it.”
In 2009, the Todos Santos church and monastery complex was named to the monument fund watch list. Resotration work on Todos Santos, also on Calle Larga, is almost complete.
Intellectuctual property group take aim at illegal CDs
The local chapter of the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property is once again pushing for fines against sales of pirated CDs and DVDs in Cuenca.
The group is focusing on protecting the rights of Ecuadorian movies and music, although most pirating by Cuenca’s 2,300 vendors, involves movies and music form outside of the country. “We want to protect local artists primarily and cannot deal with the broader piracy issues,” a spokesman for the audiovisual products association said. He said his group is working with individual vendors to persuade them to sell only legal copies of Ecuadorian products at a fair price.
The intellectual property association is asking Ecuador’s National Assembly to impose fines ranging from $500 to $100,000 on violators.
The association estimtates there are about 50,000 shops selling CDs and DVDs in Ecuador, most of them selling pirated movies for $1.25 to $1.50 each.
New planetarium almost ready
Work on the new planetarium in Parque de la Madre is almost complete. According to Mauricio Ochoa, director of Cuenca public works, the project is 99% complete, with the calibration of projection equipment the final job to be completed before opening.
Ochoa said he could not provide a date for the opening, saying that the high tech projection system is going through various tests.
The planetarium will be able to accommodate 104 spectators in reclining seats.
50,000 holiday brochures to be printed
The organizing committee for Cuenca’s independence holidays is vetting more than 100 events to be held during the holidays that begin Nov. 1.
According to committee chair Ruth Caldas, all events must be approved by the committee based on such criteria as location, inclusion of children and elders and cultural value. The committee is particularly interested in barring events and vendors with purely commercial interests.
The committee will print 50,000 agendas, listing all holiday events, to be available on Nov. 1.
Photo captions: An employee at Remigio Crespo Toral Museum points out a leak; The new planetarium at Parque de la Madre; Photo credits: El Tiempo