Tuesday, August 21, 2018

History of heritage wars at Cupids

Cupids Heritage Centre
There must be some buzz in Newfoundland historic, archaeological, and heritage circles over The Globe and Mail's weekend story by Jessica Leeper about disputes in Cupids, Newfoundland.  Millions in heritage funding has unwritten an excavation and reconstruction of John Guy's 1610 settlement, the first enduring European one on the island -- only to produce charges not only of maladministration of the money, but also that the true site of Guy's community lies 18 km south of modern Cupids.  Given the thinness of historical records on most such early settlements, it's not completely implausible at first glance.

But none of it is simple. One of those making the charges has a home threatened with expropriation for the historical project.  On the other hand anyone who has visited the thriving tourist sites at Trinity to the west of Cupids and Ferryland to the east can see how tempting it would be for any Newfoundland community to seize on the possibility of heritage development.
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