Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, John King. (FP)

Barbados will be exploring linkages with heritage and the creative economy; tackling low subscriptions to heritage base studies and planning initiatives to raise the status of Barbados on the World Heritage List.

This was disclosed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, John King, during the virtual launch of Heritage Month on Tuesday. 

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has declared 2021 to be The International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, and the theme for Heritage Month is Building a Heritage Economy for Sustainable Development.

Minister King, in acknowledging the theme, outlined a number of projects that would be taking place. 

“Many of these projects were long in coming.…The development and opening of the Rock Hall Freedom Park, the first free village in St Thomas; the relocation of the statue of Lord Horatio Nelson from its prominent space in Historic Bridgetown; the  allocation of a permanent home for the National Art Gallery at the Garrison; the commencement of remedial work to the building at the Garrison; much needed remedial work  to the Carnegie Building; assessments of historic properties such as the Garden in St. Lucy, and  the start of a National Register of Historic Places.”

He said future plans include a Slavery Research Centre at the Archives Department; development of the Newton Burial Ground and working towards having Speightstown nominated as a world heritage site on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“The youth must see this sector as a viable career path providing jobs, including curators, film makers, authors, conservators, researchers and game and set designers,” Minister King added, while pointing out the career paths that could be tapped into by studying Barbados’ heritage and history.  

He further stated that the Division of Culture intends to work closely with the University of the West Indies, the Ministry of Education and the Barbados Museum and Historical Society to provide wider public education and awareness about heritage and history for young people.

Minister King also urged everyone to participate in the wide range of activities planned for the month.

“Our heritage is what makes us unique as Barbadians. It is what has been handed down to us by our forefathers – whether it is the tangible heritage in terms of our finest mahogany furniture and rum products, our clay pottery ware, chattel houses, plantations and bungalows or intangible heritage, such as the way we prepare our food, our burial traditions, language, music and other cultural practices. Let us celebrate and preserve our heritage because our past strengthens our future,” he stressed.

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