The keys of the First Phase of the Intercontinental Slavery Museum (ISM) were remitted to ISM Mauritius Ltd, today, in Port-Louis during a ceremony following the completion of works. The Chairperson of ISM Mauritius Ltd, Mr Jean Maxy Simonet, the Chairperson of the Sub-Committee overseeing the implementation of the ISM, Mr Jean François Chaumière, the Director of the musée d'Aquitaine, in Bordeaux, who is presently in Mauritius regarding the conceptualisation of the second phase, Mr Laurent Védrine, and other personalities were present.
The first phase involved the renovation of the building and the second one will consist of the setting up of the Museum.
The ISM was converted from the ex-Labourdonnais Military Hospital which is among one of the oldest buildings in the country, significant in the history of slavery.
The Museum aims to promote the study of slavery and slave trade in the Indian Ocean; gather, collect and preserve documents and oral history on slavery; create and preserve a catalogue of artefacts related to slavery; host a permanent exhibition and organise regular travelling exhibitions; and promote curricular development and scientific research as well as the production of educational and pedagogical materials.
The ISM comprises a Research and Documentation Centre to enable the population to have access to information on Mauritian history and intercultural dialogue as well as an administrative department dedicated to its staff.
In a statement, the Chairperson of ISM Mauritius Ltd extended his appreciation regarding the handing over of the keys of the administrative section while highlighting that the ground floor and first floor have been duly restored and an administrative segment has been added. The visit of Mr Védrine to Mauritius, said Mr Simonet, is key for the second phase of the project as he will provide expertise on the principal themes of the Museum.
For his part, Mr Chaumière expressed satisfaction with regard to the rehabilitation of the building which will house the Museum. He recalled that the works started in 2016. Speaking on the financial aspect of the project, he indicated that it has been implemented within reasonable costs of around Rs 30 million.
As for Mr Védrine, he pointed out that his visit to Mauritius is part of the cooperation of the French Government to provide support to further develop this symbolical project which is an integral part of the country’s history.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.