Stichting Monumentenzorg Curaccedil;ao's history has been marked by a preservation practice ranging from the mere rescue of monuments in the early days of its existence to professional conservation management nowadays.
The rescue of country estate Brievengat in 1954 provoked the establishment of Stichting Monumentenzorg Curaccedil;ao. Severely damaged and in a bad state of repair, the property was acquired by the Foundation and restored successively. This first restoration was made possible by a private donation of one hundred and fifty thousand Antillean guilders by businessman Bernhard van Leer.
In the years that followed the Foundation embarked on quite a number of rescue operations. The mansion Pachi di Sola in Scharloo was acquired in 1959, the country estates Janweacute; and Ascension followed in 1960 and in 1965 two other country estates, Goede Hoop and Klein Kwartier, were added to the Foundation's property.
The seventies were marked by a growing interest in the welfare and care for the historic city. Incidental interventions in the historic nucleus were replaced by a more structural approach for preservation and restoration. The concept of ls"Otrobanda Village' revitalization project pushed by Dr. Percy Henriquez, pioneer conservationist from the very beginning, was launched to bring new life to ailing Otrobanda through tourism. This fundamental change resulted in a pilot project in the mid-eighties to revitalize another historic neighbourhood of lively and colourful Otrobanda where the streets and alleys are a permanent display of local culture. A block of dwellings enclosed by four alleyways was taken up for restoration. The project known as ls"The Four Alley Plan' was followed by other restoration projects to improve the housing conditions and provide more housing accommodation in historic Willemstad.
Starting in 1988, the Foundation participated in joint efforts to promote the cultural-historical value of Historic Willemstad beyond local and regional boundaries and to help develop the necessary instruments for protection to qualify for its designation as World Heritage. This resulted in the inscription of the Historic Inner City and Harbour of Willemstad on the World Heritage list a decade later.
Today the property managed by The Curaccedil;ao Monuments Foundation amounts to one hundred million Antillean guilders, that is some sixty million US dollars. The Foundation has grown into a professional organization which continues to serve the community of Curaccedil;ao through the care for its monuments and saving them for generations to come.
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