‘MauHeritage’, a mobile application, aiming to enable users to get access to all national and world heritage sites in Mauritius, was launched at Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, in Port-Louis, to mark the 2022 International Day for Monuments and Sites.
In his address, the Acting Prime Minister lauded the initiative of the National Heritage Fund, operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Cultural Heritage, for providing citizens and international users with an informative platform as regards the history, location, map, photos, videos and virtual tours of all national heritage sites in Mauritius. He highlighted that the app will serve as an important tool for tourists to connect to the historical sites across the country, better plan their visits and promote the rich and vibrant culture of Mauritius.
He also dwelt on the different strategies to re-launch the tourism sector which will in turn give a boost to economic activities. The objective is to attain the one million tourists mark in terms of tourists’ arrival by the end of the year which can be achieved under the One Mauritius initiative, that is, by enlisting the collaboration of all stakeholders, he said.
For his part, Minister Teeluck underlined that the International Day for Monuments and Sites aims at promoting awareness on the diversity of cultural heritage, the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it as well as to draw attention towards its vulnerability.
The Cultural Heritage of Mauritius, he further pointed out, are both tangible and intangible and there are 197 tangible sites including two listed on the UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites. There are four intangible Cultural Heritage listed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage namely the Sega Tipik, the Bhojpuri Geet Gawai and the Sega Tambour of Rodrigues and the Sega Tambour Chagos, he added.
The Minster further said that six sites will be added to the national Cultural Heritage list namely Champ de Mars, Chateau Benares, Le Batelage, Bel Ombre, Le Lavoir and L’Abreuvoir in Mahebourg, and the old stone building of the Krishnanand Ashram located in Calebasses.
Minister Teeluck also underlined that budget 2021-2022 made provision for four special lotto draws to fund the restoration of designated historical sites and museums. Laws, he stated, have been amended for Corporate Social Responsibility guidelines to provide funds for same. He thus sought the collaboration of the private sector in this endeavour.
As for Mr Ramchurn, he recalled that the International Day for Monuments and Sites was created on 18 April 1982 by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and approved by the UNESCO’s General Conference in the same year. The Day, he said, offers an opportunity to showcase strategies to promote the full potential of heritage conservation research and practice as well as to deliver climate-resilient pathways to strengthen sustainable development.
He also indicated that several national Cultural Heritage sites will be open to the public on 23 and 24 April 2022 with strict adherence to the COVID-19 sanitary protocol in place.