Barbados will soon launch a project designed to more robustly and aggressively save many of the structures and buildings in the island???s UNESCO World Heritage Property: Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, made this assertion recently during a presentation to observe International Museum Day held at his Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall office.

???We are working very steadfastly to have our historical structures or buildings in the World Heritage Property preserved, through the Task Force that has been established, we will shortly be launching a local and international appeal to secure funding in that regard,??? he said, indicating such a project had been approved at the Cabinet level.

Minister Lashley stressed that government was committed to maintaining the island???s heritage, history and its cultural identity and outlined that partnerships were key to fulfilling these objectives.

???I would have completed an official visit to China recently, part of that, we had very interesting and fulfilling discussions with the Ministry of Culture over there, with a view to establishing some very key collaborations in relation to conservation, sharing and providing very important technical work between Barbados and China.

???We also visited the Shanghai Museum and we explored a number of possibilities including a working relationship between the Shanghai Museum and the Barbados Museum and Historical Society,??? he said.

During the presentation, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society donated a number of books to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth.??They included the 80th anniversary edition of The Journal of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society, a reprint of the journal???s first edition which was originally printed in 1933, as well as a book entitled Plantation to Nation: Caribbean Museums and National Identity.

The latter was edited by Australian Roslyn Russell, Director of the Barbados Museum and Society, Alisandra Cummins and Deputy Director, Kevin Farmer.??On accepting the books, Minister Lashley thanked the museum for the role it plays in heritage preservation.??

???The [Barbados] Museum [and Historical Society] continues to document some very critical areas of our history. One of the things that we are very keen on doing is ensuring that particularly the younger generation of Barbadians have that very critical history passed on to them. We cannot underestimate the importance of our heritage and of course the historical component that we see before our eyes,??? he said.

Director, Alisandra Cummins noted that the 80th anniversary edition of The Journal of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society demonstrated the museum???s continued capacity to research and to publish material of great interest and importance.

???This year???s journal incorporates material that relates to the wider spectrum of Barbadian society including the poor white population, enslaved populations in the early period of Barbados??? history and the history of Joseph Rachel, one of the earliest and most successful black businessmen in the late 18th century in Barbados. It also includes articles that relate to the natural history of Barbados and the wider region,??? Ms. Cummins said.

The Culture Minister also indicated that it was important that the books were published as they would provide Barbadians academics and readers with the Barbadian perspective of history and heritage.

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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