State House being repainted to heritage colours but no State funds being used – President
The repainting of State House into the original colours of white with green edges is underway but no State funds are being spent, President Irfaan Ali said on Wednesday.
The building was repainted in green under former President David Granger without authorisation of the National Trust, which found that the repainting of the building was in violation of the law.
“The private sector launched an initiative to get State House back to its heritage colour. The PSC wrote officially saying they would like to do it and the officials subsequently gave them the approval,” Dr. Ali told the News Room at the sidelines of an event at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on Wednesday.
He repeatedly assured that no government funds were being spent. In fact, there was no budgetary allocation for such a project in the 2021 national budget.
State House, which had remained white with green edges for decades, was repainted in 2017 by the then APNU+AFC Government in a green that had come to characterise many buildings.
“Colour doesn’t matter to me, national institutions matter and if national institutions by law are expected to be a certain way then you have to respect the rule of law,” Dr. Ali added.
State House is one of nine gazetted national monuments in Guyana that falls under the vested responsibility of the National Trust.
The National Trust had stated that approval was not sought for the repainting of State House under Granger’s administration and said this directly breached the National Trust Act that makes provision for the preservation of monuments, sites, places and objects of historic interest or national importance.
The Act specifically states that the Trust must approve changes.
The former President had maintained that he had broken no law in repainting the building.