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20 February 2013

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has distinguished Mexico during the past thirty years by declaring various sites as part of the Cultural Patrimony of Humanity. In spite of that, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of research and documentation, and above all, publications about them. Thus, the collection that begins with Cuatro Casa, Vivienda Vernácula lets us reveal elements of patrimonial character so that the public can know about them and become interested in the general theme, and perhaps even contribute knowledge that will make future declarations possible. The Cultural Patrimony of Oaxaca Collection hopes to demonstrate that the cultural wealth of the state, based on urban, architectural and of course, cultural research, is quite diverse, since it covers the four categories established by ICOMOS: cultural, natural, mixed and nonmaterial. That was what led to the decision to commence this editorial project this state of the Mexican Republic. Cuatro Casa offers a mosaic of the vernacular Oaxacan home. The publication shows both constructed and intangible elements that have endured since the pre-Hispanic period, and which persist, more as elements of cultural resistance which refuse to die than as any sort of protected patrimony. The book is also a warning cry in the Sierra, Mixteca, Cañada, Papaloapan and Costa Regions to alert people to the deterioration of the traditions. That deterioration is leading to the destruction of irreplaceable cultural patrimony that will unfortunately be displaced by buildings using industrialized materials and construction techniques.

The presentation of the book will be made by Olga Orive Bellinger, M.S. in Architecture, President of the National Mexican Committee of ICOMOS, and Dr. Gerardo Torres Zárate.

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