On 21 February 2018, the UNESCO Regional Office in Quito and the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito (MDMQ) launched a joint event to celebrate the completion of the restoration of the Franciscan brewery, the eastern gallery of the “Fray Pedro Gocial” museum and the fountain of the main cloister of the iconic Convent. The event was organized in close collaboration with the member institutions of the Management Plan Steering Committee of the Conventual Complex of Saint Francis, and financed by the San José Municipal Trust,
Quito was the first city to be inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1978. In the framework of the 40th anniversary of its inscription, the event brought together national and municipal authorities, members of the Ecuadorian diplomatic community, representatives of UN agencies private enterprises and media.
The restoration works were coordinated by the UNESCO Office in Quito Office, in cooperation with the Franciscan Community, the National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INPC), the Metropolitan Heritage Institute (IMP) and the Metropolitan Public Enterprise for the Management of the Tourist Destination (Quito Turismo), as well as a multidisciplinary team of consultants. The project aimed at promoting the cultural heritage of the Convent Complex, by safeguarding its unique spaces, materials and construction techniques.
“Cultural heritage contributes to the continuous enhancement of cultures and identities”, highlighted the Director of the UNESCO Quito Office, Saadia Sánchez Vegas, during the event opening, “Nevertheless, this richness is extremely fragile and requires public policies that preserve its diversity, as once it is lost it cannot be recovered”.
Through the preservation of the movable and immovable heritage housed in the San Francis Convent Complex, the project significantly contributed to the safeguarding and sustainable management of the monument and to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 11 and its target 11.4, which focuses on enhancing the protection of our planet’s cultural and natural heritage. As Ms Sánchez Vegas concluded, “culture is an integral part of our humanity that shapes our identities, without it there can be no sustainable development”.
General view of the main cloister of the San Francis Conventual Complex. . © Omar Arregui
María Fernanda Pacheco (on the left), President of the San Jose Municipal Trust, and Saadia Sánchez Vegas (on the right), Director of the UNESCO Quito Office, unveil the commemorative plaque of the project “Sustainable Rehabilitation of the Saint Francis Conventual Complex”. © UNESCO