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Isolated as no other territory in the world, this small Chilean island with many different

facets, concentrates a compendium of the history of man in the Universe.

In spite of the enormous vestiges of its prehistory and its diversified millenarian culture, it

remains, to a great extent, as an insoluble enigma for human investigation.

Since its ancient culture, strong art expressions have remained until our times; religion,

magic, architecture, literature, sculpture, painting, language, politics, rites, legend,

stories, music, organization, engineering, social structures, customs, agriculture, fishing,

navigation, astronomy, sports, dreams, wars, cannibalism, etc. The rest of a so valuable

culture has shipwrecked at the beaches of our present knowledge.

For years, and without great success, different approaches to the development of this island

have been sought. It is like magic, like taboo. We know that whenever we touch it, some part

of its relics is always destroyed. We know that whenwe do not touch it, the advantage of these

relics for the knowledge of men is lost and the responsibility to promote the development of

a new stage of its culture is avoided, as it has happened for two millennia.

At the present time [1982], we have faced a reality of brutal resistances. In spite of the

well-known preoccupation that Chile has for the development of the Easter Island, of the

relatively important investments that have taken place there, of the multiple facilities that

have been settled there and of the real management efforts that have been made there in the

last 25 years [1957-1982], we cannot be but disappointed and dissatisfied with the results as

a whole, of the cultural decay that this island is suffering as a human settlement and of the

little clarity of its destiny and development.

Demographic, agricultural, cattle, urban, plotting policies, and the use of the land have

often been contradictory and generally quite timid and discontinuous. The public works

have been slow and not well adapted to the environment. The human settlement policy

has been uncertain and a short term one. The urban-architectonic definition has not been

accomplished in any aspect.  The social organization is vague. The education is experimental

and it is not clearly focused to the authentic objectives of the island development. The

archaeological wealth is not protected properly and is in clear deterioration. The policies

of communication, tourism, transport, fishing, etc. are discontinuous, not suitably

implemented and without real perspective for the long or medium term.

In all these aspects, the diverse governments and their representatives at all levels have

delivered great efforts with the best and noblest intentions, regardless the validity and

certainty of the results.

But today [1982] the population is not well oriented, tourism is a myth, agriculture is

imperceptible, fishing is potential, archaeology is victimised and depredated, erosion

continues, emigration continues diminishing the original human resource, the investment

of resources does not have a multiplying factor, many civil employees from the continent

continue enjoying a smooth and natural life without becoming jumbled in an atmosphere

that is, for them, other people’s.

The problem is apparently based on the fact that, because of its varied cultural wealth, the

development of the Easter Island does not have to be approached from different sectors,

neither be only administered with efficiency by a one-person authority.