Fort repairs criticised

As “a harmful adulteration of the unique and historic character”

Forte de Ilhéu

Both local newspapers report that the local JPP (Junto Pelo Povo) political party considers that the intervention taking place in Fort Nossa Senhora da Conceição distorts the essence of the building.

The Movement Together for the People (JPP) describes itself as a party with roots in a Movement of citizens committed to participatory citizenship, which encourages civic awareness of intervention.

The construction, better know as Forte de Ilhéu was constructed due to the increased movement in the port of Funchal in the mid- 17th century when the need to reinforce supervision and security became clear. Thus, to complement the Funchal Alfândega Redoubt, it became necessary to build a new fortification in the so-called Ilhéu Grande, an islet in the bay that only later became physically attached to the port.

The parliamentary leader of the JPP, Élvio Sousa, made it known – through a statement sent to the editorial offices – that this work is not properly rehabilitated “and accompanied from a technical point of view by the ethics of heritage intervention, recommended by the guidelines, for example, in the Charter of Venice, and which is seriously and irreversibly mischaracterizing the unique and historic character of a classified property”, he considers.

“As any layman can testify, what is happening is a barbaric, disastrous and unsightly artificial concrete screeding of an iconic monument of Madeira’s military architecture, an amateur and aggressive APRAM (the port authority, Portos da Madeira) intervention, with the application of white concrete in the joints when it should have been a traditional mortar. Furthermore, as the “docking” of a listed building was not enough, more recently, the Regional Government applied a synthetic resin dam over the historic regional masonry, making the image of the set even more artificial and damaging”, he explains.

“I should add that “instead of other interventions carried out by the Government, which were well implemented, such as the iconic Ponta do Sol Pier, maintaining its authenticity and uniqueness, this intervention in the Ilhéu Fort is a real shame, penalizing respect for the classified cultural heritage of the Region, and of a Region that accumulates successive international awards in terms of good tourism practices”.

This time, it is urgent to hear, quickly, the government officials in the Regional Parliament, namely the Regional Secretary for Tourism and Culture with competencies in the classified heritage, who remains silent in the face of this attack, and the president of APRAM – Administration of Ports in the Region Autonoma da Madeira, SA, owner of the work in question”.

“Also regarding the speed of the hearings, it is suggested that the PSD/CDS quickly and quickly approve the call of governors to Parliament and that it does not take 2-3 months as in other situations. The good examples of the Assembly of the Republic should be followed, which, when dealing with urgent situations, the governors are accountable to Parliament within a few days, after the request is made”, he concluded.

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4 thoughts on “Fort repairs criticised”

  1. Summed up, they seem to have made a right c- ck up of this.
    For years here in UK the conservation people have argued that any repairs,need to stand out as not part of original structure, they certainly meet that requirement.

  2. I kid you not, you want to try talking to these people, their holy than though approach is unbelievable, our company was a member and contractor for SPAB (Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings) and they still treat you as if your abilities and qualifications stand for nothing.
    The main issue is its subjective!!! What I think is right or you think is right or they think is right can be worlds apart in views, but theirs are the ones forced on us!!! and they are not interested in other views, just look at this, the concerns have been aired for some time,have they listened? It answers itself in what you see. We had a listed building that needed replacement windows, the existed windows had gone rotten but had been installed in 1960s on a stable block built in 1700s ( Firwood Fold,Bolton. Where Samuel Crompton who built the first machine to automaticly spin cotton,look it up)
    There was other buildings with historically correct window’s which we argued for. ” not acceptable as the 1960s windows showed the journey of the building” try and argue against that self imposed view!!!


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