“History is slowly but surely vanishing. We are proud of our possessions but, we don't know how to preserve them” said Dr.Binumol Tom at the dais of Kerala Psyche: Demolition or Conservation, a panel discussion at the SPACES Fest.
In context of the demolition of Ramapuram Church and other heritage buildings in Kerala, the dialogue was the need of the hour, agreed the panelists in unison.The ecstasy of owning a twin church is nowhere to be seen; the conservationists are met with agony and gloom. The ongoing saga of events relating Ramapuram church that began in 2005 are a clear representation of the above said.
The situation of the temples and churches represents a situation of irony. George Menachey cited the examples of the churches in Angamaly and Kalipparambu, which were shocking yet true facts. He focussed on the priceless architecture that is lost in such thoughtless acts. The temple spaces that are cleverly preserved even when they undergo renovations needs to be learnt from.
The scenario needs to change and adaptive reuse of structures should be adopted. The western method of converting old churches into seminar halls and bookstalls is a novel idea that could be adapted in our state. Apart from this, the dating and documentation of historic buildings also needs to be dealt in properly.
The fact that every historic building is a book,was the key take away from the discussion. If one is lost, a valuable page in history is lost.