Dockyard prepares to mark fifth anniversary of UNESCO award

A week of activities will take place next month to mark the July 16 occasion (Photos courtesy National Parks Authority)
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The National Parks Authority will next month celebrate the fifth anniversary of the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site status bestowed on the Antigua Naval Dockyard and related archaeological sites.

A week of activities has been organised to mark the occasion – and those who worked to achieve it.

The week begins with an exhibition featuring the work of a group of art students from the Antigua State College which will be launched on July 11 at the Copper & Lumber Store. The exhibit pays tribute to the lives and work of the African slaves who built the dockyard, and who have been immortalised in the ongoing ‘Eighth of March’ research project undertaken by the authority’s Heritage Department.

An education campaign begins on July 12 with the release of a series of video productions that showcase the national park and some of the important aspects of the World Heritage Site.

The first of three educational hikes begins the same day. Park and government officials and others will get the chance to see the park through the eyes of its experts and hear first-hand the challenges of the park’s management.

July 13 is Media Day where park officials will share their thoughts on what achieving the status has meant for Antigua and Barbuda, and how the public can play a role in preserving the country’s heritage and history for the future.

July 14 is Heritage Education Day targeting children from schools in the community.

The organisers have teamed up with the Cultural Development Division to host a night of storytelling, heritage and culture in the dockyard on July 16 which marks the fifth anniversary of the designation. It will feature master storyteller Joy Lawrence and performing acts of song and dance from the Culture Division.

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