Koïchiro Matsura expresses regret over Quebec’s historical landmark loss

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The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, Monday expressed his deep regrets at the destruction of Quebec’s ancient drill hall, a landmark adjacent to the Historic District of Old Québec, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1985. “I deeply regret the destruction of this important landmark,” said Matsuura, in a news release made available to panapress Monday. “It is particularly sad that this proud testimony of Québec’s history was so sev erely damaged on the eve of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the foun d ing of Québec City. “It is doubly poignant that this loss should occur at a time when Canada is show ing great and generous commitment to heritage preservation with its preparations to host the next session of the World Heritage Committee in July,” the Director- General declared. “I hope it will be possible to rebuild the ancient drill hall, using existing pl ans and photographs,” he concluded. Built of brick and timber in 1887, the landmark was burnt down on 4 April. Only one brick wall, the main entrance and two towers remained after the blaze w hose cause has yet to be determined.

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