Thursday 27 Jan 2022

Plastering Basilica; Church says Oh God, please don't

THE GOAN NETWORK | FEBRUARY 10, 2016, 12:00 AM IST

Photo Credits: CHURCH

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A CONCERNED BASILICA RECTOR

* The rector says most of the Goans have been born to the sight of a red bricked church

* Having it plastered will hurt the sentiments of the people of Goa more than anything, he adds

* He is of the view of adopting more modern ways of preserving and improving the structure

* He suggests replacement of fragile laterite blocks with stronger ones

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PANAJI: The church in Goa has rejected the move of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), which is toying with the idea of re-plastering the Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa. Tempering with the structure's centuries-old form would hurt public sentiments, it said while rooting for more modern ways of preserving and improving the image of the structure.

The chief archeologist of ASI had recently at a public event disclosed that the condition of Basilica was deteriorating and that it needed to be platered in tune with 'Laterite Pack', a technique he suggested, would help in protecting the fragile latrine outer.

Speaking to 'The Goan', Basilica rector Fr Savio Baretto expressed his discontent and concern over the possibility of the church getting a white makeover.

“Most of the Goans have been born to the sight of a red bricked church. Having it plastered will hurt the sentiments of the people of Goa more than anything. I agree with the fact the church is deteriorating, but there must be more modern ways of preserving and improving the structure,” he said.

The Basilica rector suggested replacement of fragile laterite blocks with stronger ones. He added that unless other avenues were explored no local or Goan would agree to re-plastering of the the church.

“Check the options first and take all stakeholders into confidence before deciding whether to plaster it or not,” he said. The Portuguese regime had during the 1950s decided to remove the plaster of several monuments and structures to further their ideology in the state. The Basilica was one of the buildings that was de-plastered. This was presented at a recent lecture by Architect Joaquim R Santos from the ARTIS Institute of History of Art, University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Fr Baretto however, did admit to the need of maintenance work considering leakage during the monsoon. “The bell tower is a real problem during the monsoon. Maximum leakage takes place there. The rest of the church is relatively okay but the problem definitely exists,” said Fr Baretto.

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