‘Sacrilegious’ sale of heritage
For its September auction, Leon Gallery has put up a spectacular array of items once owned by or related to our national heroes. These are priceless historical items that ideally should be in our National Archives and museums, for posterity to study and appreciate.
I am appalled that the National Museum and Archives are not going gaga to purchase these items which, though privately owned, rightly form part of the patrimony of the Filipino people.
Cagayan’s treasures are no less treated. Many of the priceless artifacts we have tucked away in some obscure corners of our barrios and decrepit ancestral homes are being stolen and smuggled away by the cartful from where they truly belong. And what horrifies me the most is that these Cagayan treasures (mostly centuries-old statues of saints), besides being exiled from the families that have treasured and cared for them, are also divorced from their true purposes and are demoted to mere objects of curiosity or artistic value.
I have always, as a matter of principle, begged off from purchasing family heirloom
santos from the families themselves. They are witnesses to the family’s births and deaths, joys and tears, and their silent presence have, within their grains, recorded the family’s slow ebbing and flowing through the generations. I can find no greater sacrilege than selling such priceless things.
KEVIN DOMINGO BACLIG, president, Cagayan Heritage Conservation Society, [email protected]
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