Saturday, November 21, 2009

All Saints Anglican - Part 4

By the time this post makes it to the internet, All Saints Anglican Church in Granville Centre will be no more. This collection of photographs were taken on Thursday afternoon while the workers were diligently trying to get their work done so that the would be ready for the arrival of a crane on Friday. As each of the planks which have lined the sides of the church for nearly 200 years fell, the workers let out a triumphant whoop. It would almost have been comical if it were not so sad.

While I was at the church I was struck by a certain irony in the current legislation which governs the export of Canadian cultural property. Imagine for a moment that we were discussing an 1814 painting of All Saints Church rather than the church itself. If this were the case, there would have been a very strong case to keeping the painting in Canada. Under our current legislation the Federal government may have even made a financial contribution to keeping the artifact in our country. Our current cultural property legislation was enacted in the 1970s in response to decades worth of Canadian artifacts disappearing from our country. To this day you can find Nova Scotian artifacts in the antique fairs and shops of New England. To prevent the further loss of important parts of our Canadian cultural identity, legislation was enacted to prevent the removal of movable cultural property. I am sure that when this legislation was crafted that they never considered our heritage buildings becoming movable property. In this way it is much easier to prevent a painting of an 1814 building from leaving our country than the 1814 building itself. I think that it is time to reconsider some of the legislation which governs the removal of cultural material from our country.

For the record, I would like to say that I am very happy for the people of Louisiana who have purchased All Saints Church. They have shown exquisite taste in their selection of this pretty little structure.

All for now,
RGS



















3 comments:

  1. "To prevent the further loss of important parts of our Canadian cultural identity, legislation was enacted to prevent the removal of movable cultural property. I am sure that when this legislation was crafted that they never considered our heritage buildings becoming movable property."

    Well, there's a but of contradiction, isn't it? if a property can move, it is movable, therefore it should be covered by the legislation in my opinion. But I'm not a lawyer.

    Have you got any picture of the church before it has been dismantled? It looks very pretty.

    Elli

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  2. An open letter to the rector of the Anglican parish of Annapolis


    Dear Canon Vaughan,

    I am writing to express shock at the half truths you have told the people of Nova Scotia and Canada regarding the demolition of All Saints Anglican Church, Granville. Having helped restore and enhance an important church property in Antigonish, I am in a position to know the historical value of the architectural inheritance of the Anglican Church. The idea that the parish of Annapolis willingly, and perhaps blindly, participated in the destruction of a venerable historical structure is unbearable. Shame on you, and shame on the parish of Annapolis on this the eve of the 2010 celebration of 300 years of Anglican worship in Nova Scotia.

    What is unforgivable is that you, a member of the clergy, misled the people of Nova Scotia and Canada into thinking that All Saints would replace a church structure destroyed by Hurricane Katerina. This was a grotesque lie. It now emerges that the church will not replace one destroyed by Katrina. Far from being poor victims of Katrina, the congregation which bought All Saints is rich enough to buy, dismantle, ship and rebuild an historic structure, which will now take its place in a larger church complex.

    You claim that you knew none of this at the time you spoke on radio and were interviewed in the press. Well, Canon Vaughan, either you are naive, or you deliberately distorted the truth. Which is it?

    Sincerely,

    E. M. Langille
    Antigonish

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  3. To answer Elli's question, our current legislation about exporting moveable cultural property is broken into various categories of what is included. Examples of materials covered by the act are works of art, musical instruments, etc. While I would make an argument that All Saints was an architectural work of art, this would not hold up. The legislation needs to be rewritten because this will not be the last time that we will see this scenario.
    RGS

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