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Friday, March 11, 2011

Charles wants to save heritage buildings

Charles wants to save heritage buildings

Last updated 05:00 10/03/2011
Prince Charles has backed calls to preserve heritage buildings damaged in the Christchurch earthquake.

The Prince, known for his strong views on heritage protection, has offered to help Christchurch save damaged historic buildings.

The support came in a letter from Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment chief executive Hank Dittmar to Christchurch art historian Ian Lochhead.

"The Christchurch earthquake has damaged one of the world's most characterful and beautiful cities, and the foundation sends its condolences," Dittmar wrote.

"In the aftermath of the disaster, there can be a natural tendency to move forward quickly and a danger that the character of a place can be lost in the ensuing reconstruction.

"If asked to assist, we are certainly willing to help ensure that heritage preservation, earthquake safety and recovery go hand in had in the recovery process in Christchurch."

Christchurch Central Labour MP Brendon Burns said the letter was recognition of the city's heritage.

"I think this shows that across the world Christchurch is regarded as a city marked by its heritage. We are on the international tourism map. It is what defines us," he said.

"To get a signal from the foundation saying they are willing to come and help is a very public signal of support from someone with considerable mana in this area."

Heritage advocates, politicians and historians have rallied to save historic buildings after Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said some of Christchurch's old buildings should be "down tomorrow".

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