Porto Time Out Market approval condemned by historians

By Kim Schiffmann, in World · 20-09-2019 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

The plans for a Time Out Market in Porto have been approved, however a group of international historians have “strongly” condemned the project.

The Time OutMarket project in Porto is planned to consist of 12 to 13 mini restaurants, two bars, some local brand kiosks and a 21 metre tower, “which will have a panoramic restaurant overlooking the Clerics, and an intermediate floor with a stage where concerts and film screenings can take place” says an article on the TimeOut website.

On August 20, Lusa reported that, in May, the Time Out Porto Market project at São Bento station was approved by the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage, despite UNESCO’s criticism of the “intrusive” size of the 21 metre tower designed for the site.

An international group of history experts “strongly” condemns the approval of the project for São Bento Station in Porto, considering that in this case the economic value should not take precedence over the historical value.

In a letter sent to several public entities - including the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC), ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) and Porto City Council, which is now responsible for approving the Request for Prior Information (PIP) - the International History Students and Historians Group (IHSHG) regrets the lack of transparency around the project for the southern wing of the São Bento Station and have asked for explanations.

“As an international group of professionals, we strongly condemn this project until it meets the conditions requested by various national and international entities. Historical sites provide the population with an important testimony about their past and guarantee the continuous development of historical memory,” said the letter to which Lusa had access.

In the letter, the group of approximately 1,000 members, including students, graduates, masters, doctors, archaeologists and history teachers from around the world, it is recalled that “the opinion sent to the Directorate of Culture by ICOMOS underscores the concern with the current contours of the project “namely” the lack of rehabilitation of the station as a whole, the 21 metre tower that is disproportionate to the available space”, the “excessive demolition” and the “the primary non-maintenance of the station”.

Speaking to Lusa, the president of the community, João Veiga stressed that IHSHG has “absolutely nothing” against Time Out, which “did an excellent job” in transforming the Ribeira Market in Lisbon, “but rather with national entities that are not considering a solution aimed at protecting the integrity of the building”.

According to Journal de Notícias the Porto City Council gave a “generally positive” opinion to the Prior Information Request (PIP) for the Time Out market facility in the south wing of São Bento Station. The revelation is made to JN by João Cepeda, president of Time Out Market, who expressed satisfaction with the progress of the process: “We are more optimistic than ever.”


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