Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett

This country’s Culture Minister has expressed concern that many valuable artifacts and collections from the region’s history remain in the hands of foreign collectors, universities and museums.

Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett, revealed that Barbados, just like several other countries in the region and the Americas, had lost ownership of many vital aspects of its heritage, with several records still in British repositories.

He was speaking yesterday during a reception for the 21st Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Museums’ Association of the Caribbean (MAC) at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society’s headquarters, St. Ann’s Garrison.

According to Mr. Blackett, there is a need for the creation and implementation of a programme to restore such works to their countries of origin, a stance which government had made at the Durban Review Conference in April this year.

He therefore urged MAC to adopt this cause as one of its priorities and, in addition, explore the protection of the region’s cultural property.

"Each Caribbean nation must therefore be encouraged to recognise that the protection of its cultural offerings contributes to the overall development of its museum collections and exhibitions, and benefits the nation as a whole…these items contribute to the ability of a people to see who they really are and from whence they have come," Mr. Blackett underscored.

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