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A thesis documents the tourist potential of the architecture of the cemeteries of Cartagena (31/10/2017)

The teacher of the School of Architecture and Building María José Muñoz warns of the urgent need to stop the deterioration of half a hundred unique pantheons in Los Remedios

The urban fabric of many cities remodeled in the nineteenth century is in many cases a replica on an enlarged scale of its cemeteries.

So shocking is the central thesis of doctoral research recently defended by the professor of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) María José Muñoz Mora and entitled "Death, your home and your city.

The fading of the silent cities of Cartagena ", which warns of the progressive deterioration of dozens of unique buildings in the cemeteries of the city.

"It is necessary an action of urgent recovery, at all levels," says the teacher of the School of Architecture and Building, which has documented in detail up to 49 buildings that could be put into value through a tourist itinerary through Los Campos Cemetery. Remedies

"The national experts who have visited him see great potential because of its modernist and eclectic character, so representative of Cartagena," he explains.

"Other cities have turned this heritage into a very profitable tourist object," he adds.

"The modernist cemetery of Poble Nou, in Barcelona, ​​has an enormous success," says the researcher as an example of a city of the dead that anticipated in several decades the typical planning of the Barcelona extension, with its chamfered blocks.

The parallels also exist between Cartagena and Los Remedios, with a network of streets categorized according to the economic level of the families.

On the other hand, the San Antonio Abad cemetery is an example of rational urbanism, in which the niches of the rich and poor are equated, and stands out as one of the first municipal cemeteries in Spain, since it was created in 1806. In fact, Cartagena It was ahead of the Royal Decree of 1787 that forced the necrópolis to the outskirts, creating spaces for the deceased in the known as Paraje de los Arcos, in the fishing district of Santa Lucia, whose remains were later transferred to Los Remedios.

Nonexistent plans

The doctoral research of the professor of the UPCT, directed by Andrés Martínez Medina, of the University of Alicante, has generated plans and graphical charts with the surveys of each singular building.

"Although the General Plan protects 29 buildings in Los Remedios, this decision has not been endorsed with current or period drawing.

Even being works of great architects like Victor Beltrí or Carlos Mancha Escobar, the architect who designed the cemetery, until the completion of this work were nonexistent graphic documents that dated and inventoried them, "says Muñoz Mora.

The state of abandonment that many of these unique dwellings and their environment present makes it difficult, according to the author, to put into immediate value this heritage of the city.

"Some pantheons have been modified, many are open and seriously deteriorated and dispossessed inside and there are some directly demolished," he says.

However, the author argues that the similarities between the earthly mansions of the great Cartagena entrepreneurs of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and their places of rest for eternity deserves the city to recover "this monument to our past."

Source: UPCT

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