Saturday, 22 December 2007

Remains of a Box Tomb

To prepare the cemetery for sale, in the late 1920's all the remaining box tombs were destroyed, and the cemetery was leveled out. Some of the damage to box tombs may have been a result of centuries of accumulated hurricane damage. Nevertheless, whatever survived nature's wrath, faced the financial considerations and aesthetic judgment of Mr Baeza, who leveled the grounds without consultation with London. Mr Shilstone protested to the Mahamad in London, to no avail.
We found evidence of this destruction all over the cemetery, as the following photographs attest. Using the shattered remains of the box Tombs, Evan Millner reconstructed a couple of examples, using modeling clay to replace missing sections. Then, large piece moulds were made, using Plaster of Paris coated with layers of shellac, using a pre-modern technique dating back to the days before the discovery of latex. This method was used because the materials needed for rubber moulds of the size required were unobtainable on the Island, and would have cost too much. These large moulds were then used to cast new concrete elements for new box tombs.

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