The “Sacrificio de Isaac” tapestry joins the Adeje heritage family

The 18th century tapestry is now hanging in the Santa Úrsula Mártir

The presbytery of the Santa Úrsula Mártir Adeje parish church now houses a new tapestry, the 18th “Sacrificio de Isaac”. This is been restored and re-joins the Adeje heritage family as part of a collaborative plan with the Tenerife Cabildo and the Bishopric, the actual overseer of the parish of Santa Úrsula.

The tapestry is part of three examples of this kind of work that have survived the ravages of time. The series is comprised of this one, as well as “Moisés revelando la Ley de Dios al pueblo de Israel” (Moses revealing God’s law to the people of Israel) and “La Visitación de la Virgen a Santa Isabel” (the visitation of Our Lady to St Elizabeth). These other two are currently being restored and will be on display over the next two years.

The restoration of “Sacrificio de Isaac” was carried out by a team of professionals led by Rubén Sánchez López.

 

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Centuries old statue restored

The restoration team was led by Silvano Acosta, a Tenerife based conservationist

The Catholic See of Tenerife with the Cabildo heritage secion and the Adeje Santa Úrsula parish church have released details of the completion of the restoration of a statue of St Paul, in which he is carrying book of the epistles in the folds of his cloak.

The team charged with the restoration were led by Silvano Acosta, a Tenerife-based restorer and conservation expert, and used a technique to set the original polychrome pieces, using original glues to repair parts of the sculpture manually. The work was delicate as the team didn’t want “to lose materials during the conservation process and worked in very specific zones, never in a general way, on crests and elevated sides”, said the expert. All of the affected parts were reconstructed and cracks were filled in using polyvinyl glues, and the sculpture was cleaned.

 

According to information found in the official archives, the statue of St Paul was located on the main altar piece in the San Francisco Convent (of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St Paul) founded in 1679 by the first Marques of Adeje, Juan Bautista de Ponte Fonte y Pages. The first altar disappeared and was replaced with an 18th century style until 1841 when it was brought to the church in San Antonio Abad in Arona.

According to Acosta, this statue bears “the influence of the house of Martín de Andujar. We are probably looking at a sculpture from his school, perhaps the artist was part of the Garachico School of the time. The style is archaic but wasn’t popular. It would appear to have been inspired by pre-existing models from the time”.

St Paul carries a new-style sword in his left hand, which we see from the 13th Century onwards. This is a double-edged sword alluding, one side, to his martyrdom and on the other, the radical style of his writings.

 

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Culture, leisure and sustainability will be the priorities during Fitur

 

 

With Costa Adeje now accredited as one of the best sun and beach destinations in Europe and one of the most important globally, the authorities look for a different promotional platform annually for the trip to Fitur, the Spanish international tourism fair which is taking place in Madrid next week. This year the tourism department have planned a series of events that will promote the culture and heritage of the destination, and not just those organised by the council, but including private initiatives and events which add to the richness of the Costa Adeje cultural menu.

At the press conference this morning given by the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, the tourism councillor Ermitas Moreira and the cultural councillor Adolfo Alonso, the rich and diverse cultural offerings Costa Adeje has to offer were highlighted as well as the importance of the ‘triple axis’ of sustainability – environmental, social and economic.

The tourism councillor said that “Tenerife Tourism have developed a working guide that, as always, we are following in conjunction with them, to emphasis the value of our cultural offering, one of the most diverse and complete the island has to offer, and to which we can add our patrimony through our traditional fiestas and celebrations”.

Adeje have been happy too with the success of Happy Streets, “360 degrees of fun”, which was presented to the public at last year’s Fitur and has seen the development of many leisure and entertainment activities. This year the council will also be presenting news about two concerts, that of Il Divo, and a Tenerife Symphony Orchestra concert in Adeje with two world-class tenors Celso Albelo and Javier Camarena. Visitors to the trade fair will also be receiving information about the III Tenerife Fashion Beach, the National Leisure Conference scheduled for later this year, and the International Adeje Rally, all promoting the Costa Adeje destination.

For his part the mayor will also be attending the national launch of the new alliance between ‘Sun and Beach Boroughs’, meeting with the national minister for tourism Reyes Maroto, and, in his role as president of the Association of Canarian Tourism Boroughs, participating in a number of different forums and meetings including Foro Fiturtech, which is looking at the personalisation of service to the tourist, creating a unique experience for each and every visitor.

The awarding, by the national ministry for the economy and the EU, of funding for Adeje under the Intelligent Tourism Destination label is also part of the short-term planning for the destination and will be important in finding out the environmental realities and contaminants of the zone in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness in local public services, not just to benefit tourism, but also to improve the quality of life for residents. The money will also be used to optimise and improve resources among other things.

“We are also planning to create a map of our contaminated emissions, throughout the borough, to develop concrete actions to counter these pollutants”, said the mayor, adding that the council was actively working on a number of projects to reduce the borough’s carbon footprint.

The Adeje delegation will be taking part in over 30 different events and presentations throughout the trade fair, which runs from Tuesday January 22nd to Sunday January 27th.

 

 

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“This is our history”

The Adeje council’s project, ‘El Patrimonio es Nuestra’ (This is our history), an initiative of the department of artistic heritage, has become a fixed part of the cultural agenda over the last seven years, with organised visits for students to get to know the cultural, natural and historical riches the borough has to offer.

“Since we began this project we have welcomed over one thousand students from primary and secondary schools, both from Adeje and other boroughs, as the history f Adeje is also very important for the neighbouring zones of the island” commented Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, councillor for local heritage, adding, “we want to show the evolution of Adeje from the past to the present through items of cultural interest”.

The Plaza de España, the San Francisco Convent, the Santa Úrsula church, the surrounds of the Fort House, Taucho, the ‘Virgin’ walk to La Caleta, all emblematic points in the borough with guided visits now incorporated into the schools agendas, with the additional recent inclusion of a visit to the Canarian library where the students can learn more and enjoy audio-visual supports too. “This way we are helping the next generation learn a little about their own culture too, as well as getting to know the local resources and learning to value the history of Adeje” said the councillor.

The project is more than an educational one, as tours can be offered to residents too, with many having already taken part in tours in English and Spanish, learning too of the architectural treasures locally.

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Adeje’s 18th century altarpiece restored

 

The Adeje council and the Tenerife Cabildo have co-financed the restoration of the 18th century altar-piece dedicated to the ‘Virgen del Rosario’, located in the town’s parish church. The councillor for heritage, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, said “for our local government the conservation of our heritage has been of continuing importance as our history and is something we value. We understand that if we don’t place any value on the past we cannot build a solid future and in this regard, for many years, we have underlined the importance of restoration and recovery of items of historic interest of the borough.

The inauguration of the newly restored altar-piece took place this Saturday, December 1st, and was accompanied by a short concert of sacred music with the Reyes Bartlet group who specialise in music for occasions such as this.

This is a baroque altar-piece of the ‘Virgen del Rosario’, originally built in 1744 for Antonio de Herrera y Ahala, the Marques of Adeje and Count of La Goemra. It was built using separate pieces using particular wood techniques incorporating polychrome and gold and gold alloys.

According to the technical report carried out a professional team under the direction of the restorer Elisa Campos Dominguez, “the main support structure was in a state of good condition, solid and strong, but there was deterioration on some of the inferior moulding near the base which was loose. When we began the work there was no evidence of the active presence of wood-eating insects. A number of pieces and some moulding was missing, primarily at the base of the altar where we also noticed extra nails and cracks in the wood. Some of the polychrome was also in a poor state.”

During the conservation and restoration process the team worked “to return the work to its original state and at the same time worked to halt any deterioration while staying true to the original. The team also reinforced the mouldings that had come apart from the wooden support and replaced missing pieces which were reintegrated using resin. The old oxidised varnish which covered the polychrome surface was removed and repainted where needed, using colours compatible with the original”.

 

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Who controls our cultural heritage?

Jagielska-Burduk: “The EU sees cultural heritage as a development catalyst”

Alicja Jagielska-Burduk, is a legal counsellor and head of the Centre for Cultural Heritage Protection Law at Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz, Poland, and works for the Santander Art and Culture Law Review. This week she was one of the guest lecturers taking part in the Adeje Summer University, speaking on art, culture and the law, looking at the legal questions that arise during the marketing of art. She defended the need to protect heritage adding that in many instances, “the EU considers cultural heritage as a development catalyst”.

During her lecture she dealt with a number of legal and economic aspects related to the protection of cultural and historical artefacts, and the link between art, culture and economic development. The need to create industries and encourage education programmes related to heritage and culture was also discussed.

Jagielska-Burduk reckons the protection of art collections and historical sites is important, and European institutions can create a communal link, unifying the different ideas in the continent. At the same time though, the use of new technologies and assisting private initiatives was stressed, as was the public-private co-operation needed to set up new heritage projects.

“Of course it is important to respect the importance between public and private bodies and avoid potential conflicts. But, without doubt, the public interest takes precedence over the private, because there exists a responsibility to ensure as much of our cultural inheritance is preserved for and available to future generations.”

The movements within the international art market may see heritage art pieces held beyond public viewing, which is why she believes it is important to create co-operative programmes with private collectors. For example, she outlined how many private collectors open their doors to the public during summer months. “The dilemma then isn’t’ to choose between private and public but rather to work to help private collectors become a part of the cultural heritage team and see what we can do to encourage them to volunteer to do so”.

While there are differences in legislation regarding heritage and art in different EU countries, all share a common thread based on the rights of ownership and balances and restrictions. “The owner of the item isn’t important here – it’s irrelevant whether the work is private or public or semi-privately owned. What is of primary importance is the intention to protect it”.

Go with the flow!


The Adeje water route event will be in Spanish with simultaneous translation into English

The Adeje councillor for tourism, Ermitas Moreira García, announced details of this Sunday’s Water Route, which will see performances in costume along the way, underlying the important role water has played in the evolution of the borough. The route is scheduled to coincide with World Water day (celebrated this week) and the performances will be by the Adeje Municipal Folklore School. It will be in Spanish with simultaneous translation into English

The councillor explained that “the riches of our heritage are very relevant, not just for residents, but also for those who visit, looking for new experiences. The re-evaluation of our history, a history which unites us, is a fundamental task in the building of a viable tourist destination. For that reason the water route is an excellent way to remember the importance of this natural resource, looking at is use and relevance from an historic perspective”.

The route will start at 11am, from the entrance to the Barranco del infierno, following on to the Arriba mill, the Tres Chorros fountain, the Old Mill, orchards, the Fort House, the Santa Úrsula Church, the Calle Grande, Calle Sindical, and onto the plaza at Cruz del Llano. An addition this year will be a scene showing the lives of the Marquises of Adeje.

Anyone who would like to take part can do so, and participation is free. You will need to arrive on time to the starting point at the Barranco del Infierno.

 

Adeje has always been considered a privileged location, in the past as it is today. The borough had the biggest number of springs along the coast – two higher up where the Erques ravine is, three in the area known as El Aserradero, two in the Barranco del Infierno, one at the top of the Barranco del Agua, another at the foot of the Roque de los Brezos and another beside the Roque de Imoque. The borough was a settlement area for a large group of Guanches, (the local aborigine inhabitants). This was also the home of the ‘Gran Tinerfe’ one of the most important chieftains in Tenerife in his time, whose statue today is at the entrance to the town of Adeje.

After the conquest of the island, in the south, and particularly in Adeje, water played a very important role as a local resource, with the Rio de Adeje (the Adeje river) flowing from the Barranco del Infierno down to the sea.

Valuing our heritage, learning from the past

 

The Adeje initiative “Difundiendo Nuestro Patrimonio” (Disseminating our heritage) is designed to open the doors onto the borough’s natural, historical and cultural heritage for students and has been running for six years now. According to the borough’s heritage councillor, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, “what we are trying to do is pass onto students the important role history plays today, and explain the relevance of the development and evolution of Adeje from days gone by through the many places of cultural interest we celebrate today.”

During the year up to a thousand students from primary and secondary centres take part in the initiative which also invites students from private schools both in Adeje and beyond, to explain the historic relevance of the borough in the history of Tenerife.

The Canarian Library, the Plaza de España, the Convento de San Francisco, the Santa Úrsula Church, the Fort House and surrounds and the Camino de la Virgen (the mountain walk from the town to La Caleta), these are the emblematic locations in the borough on which the guided visits are based and explained by experts from the heritage division. The visits use different educative tools adapted for the age of the students in question, and in this way “we are working to bring the young people of the borough closer to their heritage so they can appreciate the resources they have and value their own history”, says the councillor.

The Project doesn’t just have an educative angle, and is also open to members of the public who, on different occasions, have taken part in information days getting to know the architectural, natural and historical symbols of Adeje.

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Its our heritage!

adeje-patrimonio nuestro  (2)
Primary and secondary school children from Adeje and Arona, San Miguel and La Laguna took part in a number of activities recently under the Adeje “El Patrimonio es Nuestro” (Its our heritage) programme.
Over eight hundred students in all visited a number of different emblematic sites in the borough, which aimed to show the younger generation the importance of cultural and historical heritage and – and with many of today’s students from a multi-cultural background, this introduction to their local heritage is very relevant indeed. There were talks on why its important to recognise and conserve local history and traditions, as well as the social, environmental and often economic benefits of such preservation.
The students visited the “Camino de la Virgen” walk from the town across the old mountain path to San Sebastain , the Convento de San Francisco, la Casa Fuerte (the town fort) and the Plaza España.

Walking with water

ruta del agua adeje I

 

This Sunday, and coinciding with World Water Day 2015 Adeje will celebrate the ‘Ruta del Agua’, or Water Route, which is designed to remind people of the important role water has to play in the past of the local Adeje society.
According to the local cultural councillor, Nayra Medina Bethencourt, “the heritage of the town has many aspects, we can see it on our streets, in the centre of Adeje, in the Convento de San Francisco, the Casa Fuerte (town fort), and the modern Plaza de España, as well as the Barranco del Infierno. This project is under the Adeje Together umbrella, involving the whole community, give the multicultural nature of the Adeje society which has grown in recent years and is directly involved in building the Adeje of the future.”
Anyone who would like to participate in the event, which is free, can sign up at the CDTCA. The starting point is the Plaza de España at 10.30am. During the event people will be able to find out more about the role water played in the development and evolution of Adeje, the borough with the largest number of natural springs in the island. Throughout the centuries water and how it has been controlled and channelled has played its part in the social and political evolution of the area. Find out more on Sunday.

ruta del agua adeje II