Upcoming Events

Kerry | Environment

no events match your query!

New Events

Kerry

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link Angry People Buy Merkel Lies, Criticize ... Sat Dec 10, 2022 05:13 | Anti-Empire

offsite link US Announces It Will Leave Ukraine Witho... Thu Dec 08, 2022 12:13 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Ukraine and Wagner Team Up in the Murder... Wed Dec 07, 2022 19:10 | Anti-Empire

offsite link EU Leads the Way: Megan Fox Devastated t... Mon Dec 05, 2022 20:08 | Anti-Empire

offsite link US to Extend Ukraine’s Fires to 150 km... Mon Dec 05, 2022 08:46 | Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Yet another major Ukronazi ?victory? (and some week-end music) Fri Dec 09, 2022 18:43 | The Saker
So the Ukronazis, having defeated quite a few old statues, have now turned to defeating a DNR flag in Washington DC. No, I am not kidding, see for yourself: Powered

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2022/12/09 ? Open Thread Fri Dec 09, 2022 18:30 | herb
2022/12/09 18:30:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link John Bolton Is Confused (Andrei Martyanov) Fri Dec 09, 2022 18:17 | The Saker
Please visit Andrei?s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspo... and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/beP...

offsite link Unconditional Surrender Is Now Russia?s Goal (Gonzalo Lira) Fri Dec 09, 2022 18:02 | The Saker

offsite link The Complete Destruction of Ukraine is Unavoidable (Douglas Macgregor) Fri Dec 09, 2022 17:23 | The Saker

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony

offsite link Waiting for SIPO Anthony

offsite link Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony

offsite link RTE bias complaint Anthony

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Coup attempt in Germany Wed Dec 07, 2022 13:36 | en

offsite link Capable of the worst, the union of certain rulers makes World War possible, by T... Wed Dec 07, 2022 04:27 | en

offsite link Ukraine bans Orthodox Church Mon Dec 05, 2022 04:06 | en

offsite link Death of David Ray Griffin Fri Dec 02, 2022 06:31 | en

offsite link David Brock, Clintons agitprop man, zeroes in to rescue the Bidens Fri Dec 02, 2022 05:16 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Skellig Michael: The Denial of History as State Policy

category kerry | environment | opinion/analysis author Monday November 06, 2006 14:02author by Hanshiro - The Tara Foundationauthor email thetarafoundation at yahoo dot ie Report this post to the editors

The Skelligs Rocks, 8 miles off the coast of Co. Kerry, constitute one of only two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ireland. However, the Office of Public Works (OPW) is currently engaged in reconstruction work there. On the South Peak of Skellig Michael, an altar, dating probably to the ninth century, has been destroyed by unsupervised workmen. In addition, there has been extensive rebuilding carried out on the main complex, which has led to considerable damage to the original structures. The work has proceeded without an Environmental Impact Assessment; while the Department of the Environment and OPW have argued that, because the Skelligs are a national monument (thus covered by the National Monuments Act 2004) and because the current work is part of an ongoing programme of conservation dating back to the 1980’s, neither an EIA nor planning permission is necessary.

According to UNESCO guidelines, a Management Plan for each World Heritage Site must be submitted, and made available in published form, to direct the management of the site and any preservation work deemed to be necessary. A “management strategy” was submitted to UNESCO at the time the Skelligs were inscribed on the World Heritage List, and despite a statement by the OPW/Department of Environment management team that a “Management Plan” was approved by UNESCO in 2002, in fact no such plan exists as yet. The management team also failed to inform UNESCO of the rebuilding work on the Skelligs before it was commenced, even though UNESCO guidelines state specifically that “specific reports and impact studies” must be submitted “each time exceptional circumstances occur or work is undertaken which may have an effect on the state of conservation of the property.
In addition to being a WHS, the Skellings is a Sanctuary Preservation Area and a Bird Sanctuary, and as such any work carried out there without an Environmental Impact Assessment contravenes the EU Habitats Directive. No explanation has so far been forthcoming from the OPW on how it managed to secure a dispensation from the Directive.
ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) have issued a series of charters intended to serve as a guide for restoration work. The “Nara Document on Authenticity” from 1994 states: “Conservation of cultural heritage in all its forms and historical periods is rooted in the values attributed to the heritage. Our ability to understand these values depends, in part, on the degree to which information sources about these values may be understood as credible or truthful. Knowledge and understanding of these sources of information, in relation to original and subsquent characteristics of the cultural heritage, and their meaning, is a requisite basis for assessing all aspects of authenticity.” The Venice Charter (1964) is intended as a guide to the thinking behind restoration work. It states: “Wherever the traditional setting exists, it must be kept… No new construction, demolition or modification which would alter the relations of mass and colour must be allowed… The process of restoration is a highly specialized operation… It must stop at the point where conjecture begins, and in this case moreover any extra work which is indispensible must be distinct from the architectureal composition and must bear a contemporary stamp. The restoration any case must be preceded and followed by an archaeological and historical study of the monument… The valid contributions of all periods to the building of a monument must be respected, since unity of style is not the aim of restoration.”
Despite the contention of the Department of Environment that the works being carried out are “minimal”, photographic evidence demonstrates widespread and systematic rebuilding of stonework in a manner completely at variance with the previously extant remains. Examples of the OPW’s cavalier interpretation of their international obligations are the following: in the main monastic complex, an altar that was in use by pilgrims up to the 1930s has been removed, on the grounds that it was “merely” built by the nineteenth century lighthouse keepers, and a nineteenth century wall was replaced by a new wall on the lines of the original early Christian retaining wall. The management team have referred to the deformation of the upper terrace walls and their reconstruction of the walls “on the original line of the wall being repaired”. This is reconstruction according to a preconceived notion of how the remains should look, not investigation of the existing remains; in other words, anything which does not fit the management team’s ideas of what is “early Christian” is removed, and worse, remains are dismantled and reordered into what the management team have decided they should look like.
This approach to archaeology, the idea that the accumulated layers should be respected rather than being simply stripped away as of no interest to reveal the “original” layer underneath, is based on a deeply flawed and mistaken ideology. Unfortunately, it seems to have attained to the level of a professional craze; in Italy, numerous masterpieces such as Michaelangelo’s Sistine ceiling and Last Supper have been “restored” according to the notions of art historians, with not the slightest appreciation of the importance of preserving the essence of an artwork as a historical fact. The layers of history cannot be stripped back to reveal a supposedly “original” essence; the desire to do this is a desire to deny that history has intervened between the creation of the work and its ultimate reception by the “restorer”, and it is also to deny that the ways in which a work was understood and received through the centuries has any importance to one’s own standpoint. The consequences of this can be immediately and painfully registered: just as the “restorers” of the Sistine ceiling have remade it according to their own limited aesthetic and historical perceptions, and in the process deprived it of much of its value, the OPW have engaged in a programme of dehistoricizing the Skelligs, thus asserting that there is no difference between the remains they reorder and their own understanding of them. In case there should be any dispute as to this understanding, all evidence of the intervening history must be cleared away, the slate wiped clean.
This denial of history, the notion that the accumulated layers of the past can be swiped aside to enable immediate access to the object, achieves the very reverse of what it professes: such an understanding reforms the object in its own image until it sees nothing but its own reflection there. Such an attitude can only be labelled cultural fascism, and it is the ideology that governs the State’s archeological and cultural policy.

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpXgBveqnjY

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   The Skelligs used to be open to the public     C Murray    Tue Nov 07, 2006 20:00 
   Pedantry     Liberty Hall Langer    Thu Nov 09, 2006 14:50 
   On Duchas     C Murray    Thu Nov 09, 2006 15:56 


 
© 2001-2022 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy