Mayor of Quito will remove municipal institutions from the historic center

Quito, Jan 14 (EFE) .- The mayor of Quito, Jorge Yunda, announced this Thursday his intention to move the main municipal bodies out of the historic center of the city, in an effort to protect municipal heritage.

"We must preserve the historic center. We are moving, it will not be overnight, but in this administration we have made the decision to protect the center and operate from another place, more modern, with more mobility and accessibility, we are working on this ", remarked the Mayor.

He was referring to all those functions that take place in the municipal building, in the historic Plaza Mayor of Quito and in front of the Presidency, a place of particular beauty and history.


His idea, which he had already raised on other occasions and which is now a municipal decision, is to look for more modern spaces that host government agencies, but outside the historic center, declared a World Heritage Site in 1978.

The decision comes after the violent demonstrations that occurred in the historic center in October 2019, in which the protesters caused damage to heritage buildings; although it was not the first time.

Yunda believes that if the city wants to promote tourism, it must protect its cultural heritage, so it is best to dedicate it to national and foreign visitors, according to a statement, in which it is specified that it has also called on the National Government to do own it.


The mayor spoke at the delivery of the restored chapel of the Virgen del Pilar, in the church of San Francisco, which has been reconditioned by the Metropolitan Institute of Heritage (IMP), after an investment of $ 209,000.

The work was delivered this Thursday to the congregation of Franciscan friars, in a ceremony with the Minister of Culture and Heritage, Angélica Arias; the Archbishop of Quito, Monsignor José Espinoza; the ambassadors of Spain, the United Kingdom and France; and metropolitan councilors.

"The Franciscan community appreciates this valuable contribution to the growth of the faith of the people, so that Quito once again becomes the light of America, through its culture, tradition and faith," said Father Luis Bastidas, provincial vicar of the Franciscan order.

Yunda highlighted the "commitment and duty" of his Administration to preserve the historic center, one of the largest and best preserved in all of Latin America.

"All our actions are aimed at the recovery, preservation, conservation of this intangible heritage. This heritage is not only from Ecuador, it belongs to the whole world and we must leave a legacy to future generations to preserve these relics that are witnesses of the Millennial history of Quito ", he highlighted in that sense.

According to a statement from the Mayor's Office, the IMP carried out the cleaning of dampness at the roof level, removed the roof tile that was in poor condition to waterproof, and verified the channel and drain to evacuate rainwater so that there are no leaks in the historic chapel.

In addition, the electrical installations were revised and its lighting was modernized with new LED lamps.


At the ceremony, the Archbishop of Quito blessed the restoration works and thanked the Municipality for the work, considering that "the cultural heritage cannot be separated from the religious one."

For the occasion, the Presidency of Ecuador delivered to the Municipality of Quito one of the historical flags of the Andean country that was for 100 years in the original chapel of the Virgin of Pilar in Zaragoza (Spain), which the mayor of Quito delivered today to the Franciscan order, according to the municipal statement.

The chapel of the Virgen del Pilar was built in 1630, during the colonial era, and has three altars: the front one, divided into two sections, and two lateral ones.

In one of the niches of the main altarpiece there is a statue of the Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza, which was given as a gift by Father Maldonado, a native of Quito and who was commissioner general of the Indies by appointment of Felipe IV and confessor of Mrs. Margarita de Austria .

The works carried out by the Municipality have also included the conservation and restoration of the mural painting of the dome, three altarpieces: of the Virgen del Pilar, Virgen de Lourdes and that of the Franciscan Martyrs; as well as easel paintings and sculptures dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.


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