Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley (right) and??UNESCO’s Director General, Irina Bokova (centre), with the trio Sista Vibes, from left, Randy Dowridge, Lisa Griffith and Nicole Pilgrim. (A. Gaskin/BGIS)

The importance of the cultural industries sector to Barbados and the rest of the world was underscored by Minister of Culture, Stephen Lashley, recently when he met with UNESCO’s Director General, Irina Bokova.

During a courtesy call at the Warrens Office Complex last Friday evening, Mr. Lashley suggested that it was necessary "to increase the levels of expertise in culture ministries so persons can see where the sector is going".

Ms. Bokova proffered the view that culture could bring a lot more economic growth to countries, especially in the area of creative industries. She, therefore, asked Minister Lashley to inform her about any developments regarding this island’s Cultural Industries Development Bill which should be taken to Parliament before the end of the year.

She stressed that there was a fine line between protection and preservation and modernisation and insisted that UNESCO did not want to stop development. "But, we strongly recommend and insist that the authenticity of the property is protected and preserved," she emphasised.

Minister Lashley and Ms. Bokova also discussed several other areas of mutual interest, including the Youth Achieving Results (YAR) Programme which is offered by the Division of Youth and the National Cultural Foundation. Following the meeting, they were treated to musical selections by the trio Sista Vibes, who graduated from the YAR Programme.


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