Heavy rains destroy historic buildings in Brazil

17:46, January 12, 2010      

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Floods caused by heavy rains destroyed historic buildings early this month in the Brazilian city of Sao Luiz do Paraitinga, local media reported on Monday.

The city is the only one in the state of Sao Paulo to have preserved a complex of 19th century buildings in good condition and in large number.

Paulo Marins, a historian and professor of University of Sao Paulo (USP), described the consequence of floods as a "shock" to the preservation of Brazilian cultural heritage.

Sao Luiz do Paraitinga has a very strong tradition of cultural manifestations, such as the Carnival celebrations. Furthermore, the city is an ideal place for the study of neoclassical architecture in Sao Paulo.

Other municipalities, such as Pindamonhangaba, Guaratingueta, Itu and Campinas, also have properties belonging to neoclassical phase, but they are isolated and mixed with modern buildings.

According to the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (Iphan), reconstruction of buildings knocked down by the flood should begin as soon as possible, based on records of buildings declared as cultural and historic heritage.

Source: Xinhua
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