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domingo, agosto 15, 2010

Sousa Mendes house at risk of imminent collapse


According to Victor Coias, a highly regarded structural engineer, Sousa Mendes’s mansion, Casa do Passal is in a situation of imminent collapse.
As president of GeCORPA, an association of architectural restoration companies, Coias says that the serious deterioration has been caused mostly by accumulated water damage due to the enormous hole in the roof.
These statements can be seen in a video available on GeCORPA website.produced by the film-maker Francisco Manso with the support of STAP. The video also shows a lovely simulation of how the Casa do Passal would look after restoration, once the walls and floors are consolidated and the roof is rebuilt entirely, in order to restore structural integrity to the building.
The Casa do Passal at Cabanas de Viriato is owned by the Sousa Mendes Foudation, a private foundation funded mostly by the Portuguese Government and by donations.
Before the Casa do Passal was classified as a Portuguese National Monument by IGESPAR in 2005, the floor were shored up and the roof was mended by the volunteers John Crisostomo e Antonio Rodrigues. This was the first tangible initiative to save the Sousa Mendes’s mansion, and it received valuable assistance from a number of local people from Cabanas de Viriato and Beijoz who gave wood beams and ceramic tiles, who helped to remove the debris, who housed and fed the hard-working volunteers, etc. In this manner, the Casa do Passal was saved from the rains, but only for a few winters.
Inevitably, the roof began to gape again since 2008, showing bigger and bigger holes as the wood beams continue to rot away and the ceramic roof tiles continue to fall.
That’s why it is so urgent to place a large but temporary cover on the Casa do Passal, which will also serve to protect the interiors during the whole of the rebuilding project. The temporary cover is estimated to cost 150.000€ and would have to be approved by IGESPAR.
On 19-Julho-2010, the 125th anniversary of Aristides birth, a campaign was launched in the blogs and in Facebook to raise funds to pay for this temporary cover. The initiative “A Birthday Gift in Memory of Aristides” aims to transform the on-line support of the 15.000+ Facebook friends into tangible donations to help repair his house.
Meanwhile, the roof tiles keep falling, more and more every day…
There’s no time to loose to save the Casa do Passal and the memory of Aristides de Sousa Mendes in in home town, Cabanas de Viriato.
Join the campaign “A birthday gift in memory of Aristides" in http://amigosdesousamendes.blogspot.com/search/label/Passal
The Investment Fund of the Fundação Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Caixa de Crédito Agrícola, Cabanas de Viriato: NIB: 0045 3321 4018 5666 95578
Join the Facebook group “Salvar Casa de Sousa Mendes”
Reabilitation of the legacy http://www.causes.com/causes/476286

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