The Vice President of India, Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu visited the historic Antigua (old) Guatemala city on May 8, 2018 for understanding how it’s rich heritage is being maintained since it was declared as a World Heritage City by the UNESCO in 1979. He discussed at length the conservation measures with the Mayor of the city Ms. Susana Heidi Asencio Lueg and concenred officials. He went around varioius monuments restored and being conserved. Impressed by the city’s heritage dating to sixteenth century and it’s preservation further to devastation, Shri Naidu said “It is a clear case of life springing from ruins”.
Antigua Guatemala was the third capital built by the Spanish rulers since their invasion of Guatemala in 1524. The first two capitals had to be abondoned by 1541 on account of resistance from the local warriors and natural calamities respectively. Old Guatemala witnessed series of earthquakes since 1565 and was destroyed by earthquake Santa Marta in 1773 forcing the shifting of capital to the present Guatamela City.
Those who stayed back and others who returned started reconstruction of Old Guatemala, restoring most of its mounments. UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage City in 1979.
Addressing the Municipal Council of Antigua Guatemala, Shri Naidu referred to the ancient Mayan civilisation of Guatemala and the Indus civilisation of India and stressed on the need to preserve the rich cultural roots which would in turn guide the present and future generations. He referred to Ahmedabad also being declared as a World Heritage City and noted that ‘twinning’ of the two heritage cities would benefit both.
The Vice President visited the historic mounments including San Jose Cathedral, Museum of Colonial Art, King’s Palace, a renovated ruined property being run as a hotel etc.
Shri Naidu is being accompanied by a delegation inclusing Shri Jaswant Singh Bhabor, Minister of State for Tribal Affaris and Members of Parliament viz., Shri Tiruchi Siva, Shri Anil Desai, Shri Kamlesh Paswan and Smt. Chhaya Verma.