Anthony announces restoration of national monuments countrywide

Guyana Chronicle
May 11, 2007

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THE government will advance its continuing programme of restoration and preservation at national monuments and heritage sites countrywide, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony has said.

The Government Information Agency (GINA) said he made the announcement Wednesday during conducted site visits to historical places in Regions Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands) and Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni).

GINA said Anthony was accompanied by archivists, engineers and architects who assisted in conducting evaluations for the undertakings.

The agency said they visited the ruins at Fort Zeelandia and the Dutch Heritage Museum (formerly the Court of Policy), both on Fort Island about 16 kilometres from the mouth of the Essequibo River.

GINA said the ministry has spent about $5M on rehabilitating the Court of Policy building, to convert it into the museum which is being used to display numerous socio-cultural and industrial artefacts from the era of Dutch occupation.

According to the agency, during the Dutch administration, the Court of Policy served various functions, for storage and legislative and religious activities.

GINA said the Culture Ministry has drafted a plan for restoring the armoury and other structures surrounding Fort Zeelandia that was the main place from which the Dutch defended key locations along the Essequibo River.

GINA said a visit was paid, as well, to Leguan where the construction of St. Peterís Anglican Church was completed on December 9, 1827.The 180-year-old place of worship in on a six-acre plot of land that includes a cemetery that was the burial place for the original founders of the church.

The 70-foot long edifice was constructed at a cost of 2,500 pounds (Sterling), with contributions also from the colonial legislature of the day, GINA said.

It said the ministerial party examined the ruins of Fort Kyk-Over-Al that was the seat of government for the colony of Essequibo during the Dutch occupation.

The 17th century fort lies on a 1.5 acres island within the river triangle linking the Essequibo, Mazaruni and Cuyuni rivers.

The place was originally named after an influential Dutch icon, Ter Hoogen, before it was renamed Kyk-Over-Al, GINA explained.

The agency said Anthony announced that, in addition to the renovations under way, the government intends to repair several other memorials, among them a military cemetery situated on Fort Island and the windmill on Hogg Island.

Further visits are scheduled for more heritage sites on a list that includes Fort Nassau along Berbice River, GINA said.