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,