Endangered heritage

July 19, 2007 | By More

A few months ago I wrote in World Heritage sites in Brazil: a report about a study that assessed the state of conservation of the world heritage in Salvador de Bahia, Iguazu and the Pantanal.

Last Sunday, the Folha de São Paulo dedicated an entire page to a feature on the constant degradation of the Pelourinho area in Salvador (the online article is for subscribers only). Prostitution is back in force, and the deterioration of the atmosphere in the region has meant that only last year 20% of local shop owners put their shops up for sale.

The main cause behind this degradation is a decrease in the investments being made by the authorities on the area – the authorities of the state of Bahia, in particular. The government of Bahia is in the hands of PT, as it is the case for the government of Brazil. The same party that recently saw fit to spend public money supporting a private marketing initiative – the election of the new 7 wonders of the world.

We can’t forget Salvador is a World Heritage Site, and hosts an invaluable artistic heritage. A government that abandons a treasure like the one found at the Pelourinho and chooses instead to promote one of the best known tourist attractions in the land shows that sustainable development is not high on its agenda.

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