March 4, 2021

The cave of Risco Cado becomes visible to the world – The Province


Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria are already part of the list of goods declared World Heritage by Unesco, a distinction that sets the world's gaze on the Island and that places value on the North African Berber primitive culture, the previous to the arrival of Islamism, which developed in the Canary Islands. The decision was taken at 9:02 p.m. – Canary hour – during the 43rd World Heritage Committee organized by the international institution in Bankú (Azerbaijan) with the presence of delegations from 195 countries, of which they participated during the vote of the candidacy. Ten representatives of these nations who praised this cultural spot, called it "a unique and beautiful landscape" and congratulated the Spanish delegation for "the magnificent work done", among other positive evaluations.

The president of the Island Council, Antonio MoralesHe expressed his gratitude to the communities that supported the declaration and to all the workers who for four years made an effort to make the appointment a reality. "It is a satisfaction and a tremendous pride, especially because in the last moments the tension and the doubts increase: when I had to intervene the voice of the emotion was broken a bit," said the president, who on the other hand showed his impression upon realizing that the candidacy had been supported by the unanimity of the delegates of the countries that intervened during the act.

International praise

"When you listen to the representatives of countries such as Australia, Kuwait or China, to mention that Risco Caído has been an exceptional proposal and you hear how they encourage all Unesco member states to support the proposal, you can not help but be proud. ", said the illusioned president, who attended the convention with the discoverer of the site, Julio Cuenca, as well as the coordinators of the file, Cipriano Marín and José de León.

The speech of Morales before the Committee was closed when invoking "the sounds of those insulars of the past that still echo in our memory", a phrase that gave way to José de León, who approached the microphone of the president to sound two limpets. "It was something that occurred to Marín moments before the president began to speak and I, who have learned to use this instrument for the old Canaries, did it," the expert laughs. "All those present remained with their mouths open, but we wanted to convey to the world that this culture that we are here for is still alive today: this instrument that is found on the shores of our Islands is very representative, and although it is very simple has a lot of scope, "the archaeologist clarified.

Also the acting advisor of Historical Heritage of the Government of the Canary Islands, Miguel Ángel Clavijo, was present during the ceremony and joined the celebration, clarifying that "now we have to talk about everything that this natural place in the Canarian society meant after the Conquest, how the world of the ancient inhabitants of the Island it remains in spite of everything and as our ancestors adapted their culture to the new sociopolitical reality that had been established without losing their customs ". Following this line, he proudly highlighted that "we are recognized by that cultural survival, that the Berber culture in the Canary Islands is part of the history of humanity: today -day for the reader- the world looks at Gran Canaria".

Fallen Risco and the Sacred Mountains have been declared as a cultural site of the World Heritage because they are considered as a joint work of humanity and nature. These spaces cover 18,000 hectares, in which more than 1,500 caves are distributed. Also, the statement has been motivated, not only by the historical and archaeological importance of these natural cavities, but also by the set of activities, events and spaces that surround them: vertical villages, fortified barns located in impossible places, caves, temples , Necropolis, Libico-Berber inscriptions, the world's largest concentration of cave-like pubic triangles and transhumance routes. Also the clouds enters the file. In fact, Gran Canaria is shown as the only island in the world that includes sanctuaries with astronomical functionality.

Conservation of good

All members of the Spanish delegation agree that the declaration is not an end in itself, but a means to "achieve the preservation and protection of that good, which is the first mission entrusted to us and in which we are already working with the creation of a public foundation that will be in charge of the management of the property: the next step is the relation of the projects of the archaeological parks, which are the juridical figures that allow us to order these spaces ", explains Julio Cuenca, responsible for the discovery of Risco Caído in the 90's. The state of conservation in which they are found; what are the main pathologies that affect you; how the space should be managed in the face of the visits or what policy will be carried out regarding the archaeological excavations are some of the issues analyzed in the projects of the archaeological parks mentioned by Cuenca and "it is essential to start ordering this heritage, because what will really be put into value is a new management model to protect this good ".

The president of the Cabildo also contributed on future measures that must be taken into account. Among the first objectives will be, in addition to the inauguration of the distribution centers in Tejeda and Artenara and the new one, to complete the process of creation of the foundation that will manage the property. "I also intend to unite the biosphere reserve and the sacred mountain spaces in a single organism, with the intention of coordinating in a more orderly manner the different actions that are carried out," said Morales, who took the opportunity to manifest "the commitment we have among all administrations to defend Risco Caído".

On the other hand, Marín defended that Risco Caído and the rest of sacred mountain spaces "are now international responsibility". The expert asserts that after this declaration the good acquires international protection, so "it should not be cared for or protected only by the canaries, it is under the supervision of all the signatory countries in convection," he reiterated.

There was no shortage of congratulations from other public and private organizations Cabildo of Gran Canaria for their work in recent years, as well as the technicians and experts who worked for four years to prepare a dossier that representatives of countries like Tunisia called "impeccable" and described as "deserved" the inscription of Fallen Risco and the Sacred Mountains to the list of Unesco World Heritage.

Ángel Víctor Torres, who will be sworn in as president of the Government of the Canary Islands, thanked the efforts of all those involved in the candidacy and said that "this will be a day for history in capital letters of the Canary Islands." Also, collectives such as the Círculo de Empresarios de Gran Canaria, chaired by Mario Romero Mur, also took advantage of the news to congratulate the team of professionals and the Cabildo

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