CAPTION: Robben Island World Heritage Site (RIWHS) and Le Morne Cultural Landscape, (situated in the Republic of Mauritius), signed a Twinning Agreement yesterday at the Atlantic Imbizo, Clock Tower House at the V&A Waterfront. The prestigious event was attended by both South African and Mauritian delegates, where the agreement was sealed by Robben Island Museum’s (RIM) Council Chairperson, Mr Sibusiso Buthelezi and Mauritius’ Minister of Sports and Culture, Honourable Prithvirajsing Roopun. Through this agreement, RIWHS will be able to solidify its connection to similar sites of social memory on the African continent. Pictured above, signing the agreement, is Robben Island Museum Council Chairperson, Mr Sibusiso Buthelezi (left) and Chairperson of the Le Morne Cultural Landscape, Mr J. Balnock.

It was a celebratory event as guests witnessed this historic moment of two iconic World Heritage Sites joining hands. Both these sites are a symbol of cultural diplomacy. “As a World Heritage Site, continuous innovation and capacity building is key as stipulated by the World Heritage Capacity Building Strategy, adopted by the World Heritage Committee in 2011*,” says Chief Heritage Officer of Robben Island Museum, Mr Pascall Taruvinga. “The Strategy responds to the identified needs of a diverse and growing audience for capacity building for World Heritage conservation and management activities. Development of resource materials such as best practice case studies and communication tools are among the activities foreseen by the strategy. Therefore the Twinning Agreement between RIWHS and Le Morne Cultural Landscape is a fulfilment of this strategy. Through exchange and collaborative programs between the two sites, we will be able to build capacity around world heritage in areas of research, conservation and management,” he explains.

Honourable Roopun equally expressed his delight in partnering with RIWHS because of their common shared objectives. He added that he is happy to see this day finally come to fruition. The day included cultural performances by local group, Ilitha LeLanga Marimba Ensemble that kept guests entertained and feeling proudly South African.

“Recognition and appreciation of cultural diversity is essential for purposeful coexistence,” shares Taruvinga. “As RIM, we are appreciative of this historic event that unfolded today in the year that RIM celebrates 20 years as a museum. We hope it is exemplary to other world heritage sites that through unity and collaboration, we stand an even better chance at championing heritage preservation,” concludes Taruvinga.

For more information about Robben Island Museum, please visit: www.robben-island.org.za or contact: infow@robben-island.org.za/ +27 (0)21 413 4200. Join Robben Island Museum on their social media platforms and share your island experience: Facebook (Robben Island Museum – An agency of the Department of Arts & Culture) / Twitter (@robben_island).

* http://whc.unesco.org/en/recognition-of-best-practices/

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For media queries, please contact:

Morongoa Ramaboa

081 411 6089

morongoa@reputationmatters.co.za

OR

Bongiwe Nzeku

073 214 7467

bongiwen@robben-island.org.za

More about the Twinning Agreement

The purpose of this Twinning Agreement is to strengthen ties between both countries. The partnership is expected to promote the following:

  • Joint research and publishing of the social memory, intangible values, history of both sites;
  • Technical exchange of best practice programmes in the areas of conservation and management of the two sites sharing the same shoreline challenges;
  • Synergies for tourism in collaboration with respective Departments of Tourism (South Africa and Mauritius) as part of capturing the flowing tourists in both countries;
  • Exhibitions and sharing of website platform in order to increase accessibility of sites and raise awareness beyond national borders for mutual benefit.
  • Supporting the implementation of the current Cultural Agreement between South Africa and Mauritius with any of the above areas of partnership between RIM and Le Morne, forming an annual joint programme to be implemented by both parties.

More information about Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum (RIM) is a public entity responsible for managing, maintaining, presenting, developing and marketing Robben Island as a national estate and World Heritage Site. It was established by the Department of Arts and Culture in 1997.

RIM implements a wide range of conservation, educational, tourist development, research, archiving and general heritage programmes that are designed to achieve its mandate; conserve the Island’s natural and cultural resources and heritage; and promote it as a platform for critical debate and life-long learning.

RIM is also responsible for managing and maintaining the assets of the Island. These include the Maximum and Medium Security Prison Complexes, Robert Sobukwe’s House, the Curio and Village Shops, the Village Precinct and associated recreational facilities, the Helipad and runway on the Island, World War 2 memorials, power generation and water processing plants, Jetty 1 and the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront, the Mayibuye Archives, the three (3) ferries that transport people to the Island and the fleet of buses used by tourists on the Island.