Watchtower restoration draws flak

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LAOAG CITY—A little known historical marker located in Puyupuyan village, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte has become viral in social media after its post-rehabilitation appearance was posted online.

Some old Pasuquin residents claimed that after the rehabilitation works, they could hardly recognize the old watchtower, built during the Spanish colonial period, due to its “modernized look.”

“The historic value of the place has been lost. I hope this will not happen with the ongoing restoration of our town’s bell tower,” said Edison Agcaoili, a concerned citizen from neighboring Bacarra town.

Earlier, the local government unit of Pasuquin called for the rehabilitation of the Puyupuyan watchtower, formerly used as an outpost for sentinels tasked to warn residents of pirate attacks.

In 2015, the structure was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum. The same government agency also funded its restoration this year.

However, even the National Museum admitted the restoration works could have been made better.

“We are as dismayed as many here, and I can share that the contractor proceeded rapidly in some key aspects without the National Museum’s approval, particularly the overly-heavy and clumsy application of lime plaster and the installation of the metal grill gate—these would not have been approved by us,” said Jeremy Barns, a spokesperson of the National Museum who apologized for what happened.

Barns assured the public that the National Museum will do something to rectify the error saying “all work that has been undertaken, is thankfully reversible.” (PNA)

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