Ownership of historic properties is of concern, says Bah

Friday, May 10, 2019

The minister of Tourism and Culture has expressed concerns over the rationalisation of ownership of historic properties of Janjangbureh and James Island. He voiced these out at the inauguration ceremony of the newly appointed board of directors for the National Center for Arts and Culture held in the Ministry last Friday.

Hamat N.K. Bah, while presiding over the inauguration informed the new board about the pressing tasks that awaits them, underlining the rationalisation of ownership of historic properties at Janjangbureh/Georgetown. He said some commissions of inquiry will be created to investigate for the sake of history.

The minister made it clear that “we cannot have distorted history; history must be told rightly to help us save our future.”

The history of Janjangbureh and James Island, he said, has become a concern. He added that they need to be looked into through setting up commissions to help establish the real fact about them “because our children ought to know the truth, the real history of our historical sites.”

He urged the public to understand that museums can no longer be a research institution alone, but need to be transformed to generate revenue for their sustainability. “NCAC must determine and ready to sustain itself. Thus, it cannot continue to live on subvention from the government.”

He urged the board and NCAC to be innovative and come with new policies and ideas, noting that the Ministry of Tourism is willing and ready to embrace and put into law or regulation anything that would permit the center to be able to generate the necessary resources for sustenance.

Commenting on the creative society, he encouraged the NCAC and the board to look inwards and see what can be done to raise necessary funds to develop the industry particularly Gambian artistes. He noted that “with all what they (artistes) have done to make us know our past and feel happy when listening to their music and performances, they’re still dying of penury. Artists deserve rewards and remuneration for their works but it is not happening!”

The minister said that the issue needs urgent address, and thus challenged The Gambia Collecting Society Board to move on to get them their rewards.

Author: Yunus S. Saliu