Gov’t flip-flops on relocation of Walter Roth Museum
The Government will be consulting with staff of the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology and leaders of the 212 Indigenous villages before it moves to relocate the Museum from its current location.
Government announced earlier this month that the artefacts of the Museum will be relocated to the western-wing of the Guyana National Museum to facilitate departments of the Ministry of the Presidency. The statement added that in recent months, two departments have been added to the Ministry, namely; the Department of the Environment and the Department of National Events.
The short statement saw major criticisms from the political Opposition which called for further explanations on the relocation and deemed the decision another injustice to Amerindians.
During Wednesday’s meeting of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) meeting at the Arthur Chung International Convention Centre, Liliendaal, Patrick Gomes, Toshao of Maruranau Village, Region Nine decried the government’s decision to move the Museum, on the grounds that the artifacts contained within are those founded several hundred years ago, and that many not be able to survive relocation.
Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, under whose purview the Department of Culture falls, told the leaders that he requested that the decision be put on hold until consultations are completed.
“What I have done, is I have asked the President (David Granger) to put the question of the movement of the Walter Roth Museum on hold until I have had an opportunity to discuss the matter more thoroughly with the people, the anthropologists, the Toshaos and so on,” Minister Roopnaraine advised.
The Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology contains a wealth of historic information and artefacts about the Amerindian people with the aim of keeping the legacy of Guyana’s first people alive.
The Toshao called on all the indigenous leaders present at the NTC to make a recommendation to the government that the museum remains at its present site, “because we do not want to lose our heritage and our connection to the past.”