Quem protege o importante Património Arquitectónico Nacional, propriedade das Embaixadas ? por António Sérgio Rosa de Carvalho

Palacete na Lapa propriedade da Embaixada dos Emiratos Unidos Rua Almeida Brandão, 11
Acaba de entrar na CML o Proc. 779/EDI/2011 relativamente a um projecto de ampliação deste palacete da Lapa ...
Este é mais um dos diversos casos de proposta de Alterações propostos por Embaixadas … Ora, claro que as Embaixadas estão naturalmente instaladas em edifícios Históricos , prestigiantes, detentores de importante Património Arquitectónico e importantes Interiores ...
Não é por acaso que a maior parte das Embaixadas se encontram instaladas na Lapa ... isto relacionado com o importante carácter de erudição Arquitectónica e prestigio Aristocrático da zona ... e isto implica grande responsabilidade para os decisores da C.M.L. no que respeita a salvaguarda do Património ...
Claro que quando se fala em “alterações” geralmente se fala em destruição de elementos dos Interiores com instalação de elevadores ... etc., alteração dos jardins com construção de garagens subterrâneas ... etc.,
Não sei o que se passa neste caso ... daí levantar a questão sobre os critérios de licenciamento da C.M.L. ou do IGESPAR para estes casos ... é que já existem diversos antecedentes e "casos" de intervenções de Embaixadas em importante Património Arquitectónico.
Como comparação deixo-vos um caso de importante luta cívica e de cidadania que tomou lugar em Paris à volta do Hotel Lambert ... construído por Le Vau entre 1640 e 1644 e com interiores de Le Brun e Le Sueur ...
Com os cumprimentos de António Sérgio Rosa de Carvalho

Hotel Lambert , Paris

Parisians castigate 'ignorant' plans for Hôtel Lambert

Lizzy Davies in Paris
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 23 August 2009

According to a group of furious Parisian luminaries, the Hôtel Lambert is facing 'imminent disaster'. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters
For centuries it has been a haven of cultural refinement, a stunningly beautiful mansion in which Chopin composed, George Sand wrote and Voltaire lived with his mistress.
But according to a group of furious Parisian luminaries, the Hôtel Lambert is facing "imminent disaster" from the modernising zeal of its new owner, a member of the Qatari royal family.
Plans to renovate the 17th-century building and fit it out with an array of modern conveniences such as lifts, air-conditioning and an underground car park have provoked the rage of architects, historians and glamorous former residents, who have gone to court in an attempt to halt them.
Armed with a petition of about 8,000 signatures from concerned citizens, lawyers for the Historic Paris association are arguing that the plans should be abandoned in the interests of national pride, and denounce the French government's move to approve the project as "illegal".

"This decision, which bears witness to an intolerable ignorance of the nature of a structure this significant … raises doubts about the ability of our country to take care of the management of its own heritage," said Jean-François Cabestan, an architect, and Pierre Housieaux, president of Historic Paris, in a letter of protest.

Ever since it was put up for sale by banking magnate Guy de Rothschild shortly before his death in 2007 and swiftly snapped up for an estimated €80m (£69m) by a brother of the Emir of Qatar, the future of the Lambert has been the subject of frenzied speculation by those who believe its history as intellectual playground is too special for it to be ignored.
Architects and politicians from the Commission for Old Paris first sounded the alarm bells in December, when news of the planned modernisation first emerged.
But those concerns were passed over in June by the government, which insists the building is in a "very bad state" and needs urgent work to save it from further decay.
Speaking in court last week, a lawyer for the Lambert's owner said the plans put forward were "exemplary".
But that view is not shared by his distinguished neighbours on the Ile St Louis. "[The works] risk ruining this exceptional architectural singularity," said the composer Henri Dutilleux, who has lived nearby for more than 50 years.
He has been joined in his protest by a string of celebrities including the comedian Guy Bedos, singer Georges Moustaki and film star Michèle Morgan, who owned an apartment in the Lambert for 20 years.
Reiterating the concerns of architects who warn that radical attempts to alter the building's existing infrastructure could prove problematic, the female star of Marcel Carné's Le Quai des Brumes accused the new owners of "snobbery".
"They should have built outside of Paris, they would have had all the space they liked. But maybe that would have been less chic, less elegant," Morgan told Prestigium magazine.
"The Ile Saint Louis is extraordinary; the Hôtel Lambert is the icing on the cake," Morgan added.
Commentators say the acquisition of the Lambert is an indication of how France's close diplomatic ties with Qatar are increasingly yielding commercial advantages. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was the first Arab head of state invited to the Elysée palace by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, and the two are said to enjoy a close working relationship which dates back to the president's time as interior minister.
A spokesman for the court hearing the case said a decision was not expected before next month.

On Monday 9 March, during a four-hour marathon session, the Commission supérieure des monuments historiques validated, with extensive reservations, the restoration project for the Hôtel Lambert. According to our sources, Michel Clément, director of Patrimoine, fulfilled his role by resisting whatever was unacceptable, notably the installation of bathrooms on top of the Galerie d’Hercule, something which we had overlooked and which had been widely criticized, and justifiably so, these last few days. He also stated that the left wing would have to remain under the strict control of the Monuments historiques. Although the original décor on this part of the building has disappeared, the volumes of the period remain and the current project is not specific enough as to their treatment.

As we had implied in our news item of 22/2/09, the matter is moving along favorably even if we still need to remain cautious as to the final outcome. The parking lot under the garden has been abandoned, and will go finally under the courtyard which is not ideal either but is a lesser evil according to most. Technical installations will be placed under the garden and occupy less space than what was originally planned. The trees will be preserved although some wanted to have them done away with under the mistaken pretext that there were no trees in the 17th century. The concrete chests built in the basement for the technical installations will not be water-proof to avoid any risk of flooding .
The elevator will no longer go through the beamed ceiling. Thus the Lassus staircase will be preserved, as will the neo-Gothic stained-glass windows. The flame ornaments designed by the chief architect will be changed so as to be more discreet.

The initiative launched by the Commission du Vieux Paris and picked up by the press has thus been highly beneficial. The final decision is in the hands of the Minister of Culture who will probably approve the Commission’s recommendations. Nevertheless, it is too bad that it took such a controversy to arrive at the final result . Unfortunately, many less important buildings are mutilated since they do not arouse the same interest among the general public.

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