The Ruins of Santo Domingo Church (cont.)
In July 1880 an agreement was reached to demolish the church completely. This decision prompted José Casal y Lois, a member of the Commission of Monuments, to intervene in October in the name of other illustrious figures from Pontevedra, before the Governor Filiberto Abelardo Díaz, who ordered the Mayor Alejandro Abreu to halt the demolition work. This work continued, however, prompting further reactions. Another attempt was made in 1886 to demolish the ruins, but once again it failed due to pressure from numerous important figures from Pontevedra, and particularly due to the opposition of the Provincial Commission of Monuments.
Saved from demolition, the site was declared a National Monument by the Law of 14 August 1895, which stipulated that the Commission of Monuments would take over control of the building and that the Ministry of Development would implement "the appropriate provisions to ensure its conservation, decoration and custody", exactly one year after the foundation of the Pontevedra Archaeological Society, presided by Casto Sampedro y Folgar, on 15 August 1894. This Society selected the building for the future headquarters of the planned Museum at a meeting held the day before at the president’s office. The choice was made from three buildings forming the cloister of San Francisco and the ground floor of the Colegio de la Compañía, today the "Sarmiento" building.
In 1903, when work had begun on the Institute occupying part of the Ruins, the Archaeological Society requested premises on the ground floor of the Institute to house the collections that would be exhibited in the second section of the Museum, located on a premises belonging to the Provincial Government. The Society was awarded a concession to use these premises in 1905, although it only received one room once construction had been completed and this was exchanged for a small patio in 1945, where the decorative arches of the chapter room of the old convent were built, donated by the heirs of Augusto González Besada, and for part of the basement then used to exhibit the epigraphy collection. This work concluded in 1947.
Since then, different consolidation and maintenance work has been carried out.
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