2010 World Monuments Watch
The Brazilian artist and landscape architect Robert Burle Marx harmoniously integrated urban design, architecture, and nature at Parque del Este in the densely populated and developed city of Caracas. By 1958, the government had designated the east side of the valley in Caracas for a system of parks, and Marx was commissioned to design the 190-acre landscape. Parque del Este was completed in 1961 and became a verdant haven for its residents and visitors. The prominence of the park encouraged an appreciation for landscape, conservation, and the environment in the country. Internationally, it is regarded as a highly significant modernist landscape. Unfortunately, in the last 30 years, the park has been subject to neglect and mismanagement. Fences and kiosks have been ingenuously placed throughout, and the original elements of the park—the plant life, roads, benches, and fountains—are in a state of decay. The most flagrant intervention in the Parque del Este is the placement of a vast, life-size ship (ten stories high) and museum on Lake 9. The local community has been attempting to halt the ongoing construction, and additional international support and recognition are needed in order to help restore the harmony and integrity of Parque del Este.