Students listening attentively to Minister of Youth, Stephen Lashley, as he addressed the Digital Media launch of the Youth Mainstreaming Programme today??at the Ministry of Education. (A.Miller/BGIS)

The recently enacted Antiquities and Relics Act "is designed to preserve historic artifacts, buildings and monuments and not confiscate heirlooms belonging to individuals".

This assertion came today from Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, as he addressed the Digital Media launch of the Youth Mainstreaming Programme in the conference room of the Ministry of Education.

Mr. Lashley maintained that the legislation "in the first instance, is crucial to preserving our rich heritage, and in particular, to assist us in retaining our recently designated UNESCO inscription of historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.

"The very carefully protective systems set out in the Act rules out abuse. So, your heirlooms are safe and we will be speaking more to that in the regulations to the Act," he promised.

He added that very soon the Cultural Industries Development Bill would be taken to Parliament, and according to him, this piece of legislation would complement the Antiquities and Relics Act.

Mr. Lashley told his audience that the film industry had a major role to play in the country’s cultural industry. He said his Ministry, along with the National Cultural Foundation, had been working with several partners to facilitate workshops and other initiatives to encourage local film producers, writers and directors to develop and promote their craft, as well as participate in the local and Caribbean Film Festivals.

Flying Fish Studios Inc. has partnered with the Youth Mainstreaming Programme to offer the three-month training project, which will teach the students about the camera, directing, acting and script writing, make-up for television, editing and sound.

The Minister explained that the project had been re-designed to fit the demands and development of the industry. "We must recognise that there is room for our industry to grow and I know there are great things in store because, as Minister with responsibility for Culture and Youth, I have had the opportunity to meet with interest groups and individuals, who have expressed the desire to work in Barbados, developing and producing television series and films for the international market," he disclosed.

Minister Lashley told the young people that with Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison being inscribed as a UNESCO site, there was a role for entrepreneurs, including those in the film industry to produce complementing visuals, souvenirs and documentaries.


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