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ARQ (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0717-6996


CACERES, Gonzalo  and  CERDA, Emilio De la. The Villa San Luis: a conflict of values. ARQ (Santiago) [online]. 2017, n.97, pp.146-149. ISSN 0717-6996.

In a session held on June 28, 2017, the Chilean Council of National Monuments declared the Villa San Luis as a Historical Monument. This happened a few days after the land-owners began the demolition of the last blocks of social housing that remained on the site, as remnants of the original project developed by the CORMU (Urban Improvement Corporation) in 1972 during the Government of President Salvador Allende.

This decree not only paralyzed the demolition but also ignited a debate on the value criteria implicit in presenting a patrimonial declaration. This question becomes more relevant when considering that the Villa San Luis is located in one of the most expensive

areas of Santiago, being both the last remaining plot available for development by the real estate market in the area and the last vestige of a different social and urban project. That is to say, the half-demolished blocks became the protagonists of a dispute between land value and heritage value.

In this context, we ask: does the Villa San Luis deserve the title of heritage? What is its value? Does this patrimonial value matter more than the value of the land? What criteria should prevail in this conflict of values?

Keywords : heritage; monument; memory; land; demolition.

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