Historic Barbados Inscription Can Be Of Benefit

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An aerial view of Bridgetown. (FP)

Cultural officials are urging entrepreneurs and the business community to get more involved in upcoming consultations and activities being hosted by the Division of Culture and Sports and the Barbados World Heritage Committee relating to the inscription of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This from Senior Cultural Policy Officer, Sheron Johnson, after just over 70 persons participated in the first panel discussion on the topic, Heritage – Money Pit or Pot of Gold, held last night in the Queen’s Park Steel Shed in the City.??

She noted that the objective of the discussion was to get business persons to understand the potential economic viability that could be derived from the inscription.?? Ms. Johnson stated that Barbados had a wealth of tangible and intangible heritage that needed to be tapped for future economic gain.

"Take for example, one of our panellists, John Walcott, an entrepreneur and artist.?? He has documented a number of buildings within the Site in paintings and continues to use that intellectual property in developing souvenir items. This shows a clear link between heritage and the cultural industries and it will call for persons to be creative.?? As pointed out by the Chairman of the Barbados World Heritage Committee, Mark Cummins, ??… last night, the inscription is "what you make of it," she underlined.

Participants expressed concerned about the number of historic buildings that had fallen into a state of disrepair and the need to reach the youth and persons who live within the boundary of Historic Bridgetown and Its Garrison.?? The Ministry was also commended by those present for the valuable work that had been done to achieve the designation.??

Ms. Johnson revealed that the next public awareness campaign would take the form of a walk through Bridgetown to "follow in the footsteps of our national heroes".?? The free tour will be held on Sunday, April 29, and will begin at Heroes Square, The City.?? It will move to the National Heroes Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Queen’s Park Steel Shed, Jubilee Gardens, St. Michael’s Cathedral, St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Heroes Square, James Street Methodist Church and the Charles Duncan O’neal Bridge.?? It will be led by historian and author, Morris Greenidge.???????? ??

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison was inscribed on the World Heritage List on June 25, 2011, for its contribution to the development of the British Empire and the Atlantic World.

lisa.bayley@barbados.gov.bb

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