Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Petition for Ancanthe

IN the spirit of Lady Franklin's Appeal to Lord Palmerston, I've just done something I've never tried before -- launch a petition.

The background is this: Near Hobart in Tasmania, the original Greek-style temple dedicated by Lady Franklin as the centerpiece of botanical garden and museum she named Ancanthe still stands.  Not surprisingly, there has been a fair amount of incursion over the years, with some of the original land now occupied by homes.  Recently, there was a proposal brought to Hobart City Council for a new subdivision which would much further encroach upon the area, and destroy much of its character,  A group of citizens fought back, and are making a counter-proposal that Hobart acquire much of this same area as public lands, and establish there a) A botanical garden, a project not quite realized in Lady Franklin's time, and neglected since; b) A restored museum and grounds, with a "Franklin trail"; and c) an 'international centre of excellence.'

The city council may be persuaded to back the plan, but first they are asking for evidence that the site is one of internationally-recognized historical and cultural significance.  This is something beyond the quick reach of the citizens of Hobart who support this plan, so I've volunteered to enlist all the "Franklinites" I know in its support.

You can read more about the situation on the Saving Ancanthe Facebook page here.

And, if you choose to sign the petition, it's here.

Lastly, if you know of others, whose names I have perhaps neglected to include here, who could lend their heft to the affair, I'd be grateful if you could forward this request.

I hope you'll decide to join me in this effort to preserve a small patch of Franklin history in Tasmania.

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