PNoy gov't to restore habagat-damaged Imelda Marcos shoes, gowns
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration will restore the collection of shoes, gowns, and other vanity possessions of former First Lady Imelda Marcos that were damaged during the recent flooding caused by habagat or southwest monsoon last August.
Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manolo Quezon said while the clothes and shoes held "no historical significance," there were plans to restore Mrs. Marcos' belongings.
Quezon said some of the clothes were made by famous Filipino designers, including Joe Salazar and Pitoy Moreno.
More than 150 boxes of Imeldas' clothes and accessories were transferred to the National Museum in June 2010, according to Quezon.
Mrs. Marcos left behind her vanity possessions after she and her husband, President Ferdinand Marcos, were driven into exile in 1986.
In a separate statement, the National Museum admitted that Imelda's belongings suffered serious neglect during the past 24 years "during which no plan had been formulated regarding their final disposition."
Before their transfer to the National Museum, the boxes were inventoried and sealed, and directly taken to a secure room on the fourth floor of the Old Legislative Building for storage.The room met the basic requirements for the storage of artifacts in terms of security, dryness and non-exposure to light and was included in the regular fumigations for termites and other insects that are annually conducted by the National Museum in all its buildings.
Part of the statement of the National Museum reads as follows:
"It was certainly unfortunate that the room in which the boxes were stored suffered serious leaks during the heavy rains of August 6 to 8, but this came to the attention of Museum staff in the middle of the night of August 6, and the boxes were immediately moved, minimizing the potential impact of the storm. As soon as government operations normalized by August 9, and in the weeks since then, assessment and conservation of damaged items has been consistently performed."
"The public can be assured that the National Museum does its very best on limited resources to carry out its responsibilities in the safekeeping of items placed in its custody. Indeed, the institution hopes to prevent future such occurrences by prioritizing needed structural repairs on the fourth floor of the Old Legislative Building. Similar repairs have already been undertaken on the lower three floors, which house the galleries and storage of the national fine arts and archaeological collections, which were unaffected by the heavy rains."
The National Museum said the Filipino-designed gowns of Mrs. Marcos could form the core of a fashion collection, but it admitted that "this has yet to be even formally proposed given the as yet politically-sensitive nature of their provenance."