Heritage Week (April 16 - April 20, 2021 |19 April 2021
‘Our monuments and sites are our national treasures’
“In 1982 Icomos, a branch of Unesco responsible for monuments and sites, designated April 18 as the International Monuments Day (IMD). In Seychelles we have been celebrating this day for more than twenty years now as the heritage week. The IMD is a global event celebrated by many countries. Every year, we are reminded of the importance of our immoveable cultural heritage, even while we engage in continual development for the sake of economic, modernity and social progress.
“Our old buildings and sites are valuable chapters in our history. They have been entrusted in our custody, so that we preserve them for posterity. Unfortunately, it’s true that many structures and buildings that our ancestors built have been sacrificed in the momentum of our development. Yes, sadly enough we have lost many of them. This is more the reason why we should protect and preserve the little that we have left. They define the national consciousness of our history. This is represented by our old churches, our old schools, our old dwelling houses and cemeteries, our old government buildings etc…
“The National Monuments Board strongly condemns the intentional damage that unscrupulous citizens have done to some of our sites recently. Their criminal actions demonstrate a shameful lack of respect for our historical heritages. We appeal to government authorities that whenever those culprits are apprehended, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“Our monuments and sites are our national treasures. They are scattered throughout our archipelago. Tourists travelling internationally are mostly looking forward to experiencing local heritage of the location where tourism is occurring in the form of arts, traditions and lifestyles which may be classified as follows: historic or heritage sites including monuments and other landmarks, events or cultural festivals, local culinary activities and beverages, museums and exhibitions, architectural and archaeological treasures, national parks, trails and wildlife sanctuaries, religious venues, temples and mosques.
“Cultural and heritage tourism can socially benefit our country, by helping to build social capital, promote the preservation of local tradition, customs and culture. It also can promote positive behaviour through helping to improve the community’s image, pride and beautification.
“It may be considered as a fast growing and high yielding sector in some region of the world where it is creating new jobs, business opportunities, events and attractions, therefore helping to diversify the local economy. It also tends to put more money back into the local economy, thus boosting businesses and tax revenues.
“The sincerity of our patriotism and the spirit and national pride lies in the passionate commitment that we manifest in preserving our heritage.
“Nou Leritaz se nou Lidantite, annou selebre li ansanm dan lafyerte nou legzistans.”
Message from chairman of National Monuments Board, Brian Changty-Seng
In collaboration with chairman of Seychelles Heritage Foundation, Tony Mathiot