Presidential Palace Termites Eating Away at Home of Paraguay's Leader

Image: Presidential Palace Termites Eating Away at Home of Paraguay's Leader

Tuesday, 13 May 2014 08:08 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Presidential palace termites in Paraguay are eating away at the nation's historic Lopez Palace, which is the seat of Paraguay’s government as well as the home and office of President Horacio Cartes.

"The palace’s structure is wooden and we’re certain it has termites, but we need to find out the level of damage using the tools provided by the latest technology," architect Gustavo Glavinich, head of maintenance at the palace, told reporters Monday. "They're damaging the wood structure, the floors, and the wooden covers, which support some parts of the palace."

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"For now, there’s no danger of collapse, or anything of the sort," Glavinich added, also noting that, in addition to the termite infestation, bats are also inhabiting parts of the palace.

Built in the 19th century under the direction of architect Alonso Taylor, construction on the Lopez Palace, which is located in the capital city of Asuncion, began in the 1850s. It took about 40 years to be completed.

According to Glavinich, the Public Works Ministry invested $5 million in 2012 to save "parts of the palace which house the presidential office, the military cabinet, and the ceremonial room."

The architect suggested that immediate measures must be taken to tackle the termite infestation, which could include temporarily moving the offices from the west wing to an annex, the BBC reported.

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