Tourism August 18, 2015 | 10:41 am

Tourism Ministry takes over San Francisco ruins restoration project

Santo Domingo.-Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García has taken personal charge of theproject to restore and adapt the Ruins of the San Francisco Conventin Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone. In its early stages, this proposal was met with widespread rejection. Maribel Villalona, director of Tourism Promotionfor the Colonial City, a program that consists of a series of projects in thefirst city in the New World, said that the Ministry was managing the “Projectfor Restoration and Conservation of the Ruins of San Francisco”.

Since the project wasfirst announced, architect Villalona has faced criticism fromcivil society, including bodies like the International Council for Monuments andSites, the Dominican Republic Academy of Sciences and the National DistrictCouncil.

Villalona said that the ministry had decidedto take on the project "due to the variables involved that exceed the technicalconsiderations."

When asked about theprocess of dialogue between the ministry of Tourism and the sectors involved inthe colonial-era structure, and the Colonial Zone in general, which has been declared a worldheritage site, she said that the results of the forum were being processed.

“It appears that everyone is awaiting the nextstep. The Tourism Ministry, up until recently, was waiting for opinions,” shestated. According to Villalona, during the debate on the feasibility of restoringthe Ruins of San Francisco, each university has presented a different proposal,which has made it even more interesting.

She added that theprocess would take time. The architectural design presented by Rafael Moneo hasnot been welcomed by some sectors, which claim that if implemented, it would distortthe ruins.

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