A distorted Barbadian mirror image

We have become a superficial people.

In 2011 Bridgetown, capital city of Barbados and the surrounding Garrison, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. What does being designated a world heritage site mean many will ask after a decade of acquiring the designation.

World Heritage is the designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.


Questions have been asked what has the government, Barbados National Trust and relevant stakeholders done to impress upon Barbadians the importance of ‘preserving and protecting the natural built heritage of Barbados’. The blogmaster is prepared to state that the average Barbadian does NOT connect to our heritage in any significant way. Our identity is one being developed as we meander along. There has been no significant effort by successive governments, traditional and non traditional media to push and sponsor programs which ‘give [Barbadians] a chance to understand traditions and related cultural details’. We are proud to ‘transactionalize’ the UNESCO designation to sell Barbados when tourists visit.

Last month the Nation newspaper highlighted that artefacts were stolen from the derelict and abandoned West Wing of parliament. The missing items were discovered by a parliament employee while giving a tour to school children. What does it say about us as a people who would remove Lord Nelson’s statue from its prominent location on Broad Street, however, allow artefacts like ‘the jacket which Barbados’ first Prime Minister Errol Barrow wore on November 30, 1966, when this country gained Independence’ to be stolen by a street walker rumoured to be Ninjaman.

It is ironic the case of the stolen artefacts is being highlighted during November, the month of Independence. If ever there was a good time to pause and reflect on our mirror image, it is now.

We have become a superficial people.

See today’s Nation newspaper follow up on the embarrassing incident. As usual one can expect no person to be held accountable for the lack of security at the Parliament Buildings.

Mum on artefacts

Still no official word about items removed from Parliament



THREE WEEKS AFTER a SUNDAY SUN exposé about the artefacts which went missing from Parliament Buildings, Government officials are yet to say anything about the situation or tell the public what items were stolen.

When the DAILY NATION reached Speaker of the House of Assembly, Arthur Holder, yesterday evening, he stated: “Speak to my clerk, Ma’am.” When informed that it was the public’s right to know what items were missing, he replied: “Thanks for telling me.”

Clerk of Parliament Pedro Eastmond was equally tight-lipped when contacted for the second time about the situation. Asked for the list of missing items, he said: “As you are aware, this matter is under investigation by the police who have been given such details. I certainly would not want to prejudice that investigation.”


To date, all that was revealed from inside sources was that more than 20 artefacts, including the jacket which Barbados’ first Prime Minister Errol Barrow wore on November 30, 1966, when this country gained Independence, as well as his musket gun, were gone. Other things missing include jewellery, household items and articles of clothing belonging to other national heroes which were on display.

Some of the priceless items were on display in glass cases at the Parliament Museum and the National Heroes Gallery in the West Wing of Parliament, but the two museums were temporarily closed as that section had been condemned.

Reports indicate that no one has been able to confirm when the items went missing either, since the museums have been shut since 2020. The discovery was made when an employee went to get a ballot box to show to schoolchildren who were on a tour of Parliament.

Sources told the DAILY NATION it is widely believed that the items were stolen by a well-known vagrant who frequents the Treasury Building area and who previously broke into the museum and stole shoes. That vagrant was seen a few months ago wearing a jacket. The sources said fingerprints have also been discovered on the door of the museum by police probing the theft.

However, sources said the vagrant was inaccessible, presently being a patient of the Psychiatric Hospital. Furthermore, all of the homeless person’s belongings which are usually kept in plastic bags and in a supermarket trolley were picked up by the Sanitation Service Authority and dumped when hoarding was erected around the Treasury Building a few months ago.

Meanwhile, some of the remaining artefacts were recently removed and taken into the possession of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society (BMHS).

When reached yesterday, Kevin Farmer, deputy director of the BMHS, said: “We can confirm that personnel from the Barbados Museum and Historical Society took possession of its loaned artefacts to the Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery.”

Nation Newspaper

45 thoughts on “A distorted Barbadian mirror image

  1. Boss
    If it is not yet patently OBVIOUS that there is something drastically WRONG with us as a people, that leads to such pathetic performances and results in practically EVERY AREA of national life….
    Then we are not only a bunch of brass bowl Bajans…..
    but you can now add a bunch of BLIND BBBs….

    Interesting that you posted a picture of the “Satanic Altar” that ‘Froon’ placed in the middle of the Garrison to symbolize our acceptance of our adopted albino-centric lifestyle …. and officially turning our backs on God, as a country.

    Unless Bajans can come to RECOGNIZE the need to turn BACK to our creator; to repent from the brass bowl behaviors and albino-centric predisposition, …and to restore the Garrison to the open field that it used to be….
    …our asses will continue to wallow in the grass – no matter how much money Mia borrows….

    It used to be termed ‘donning sack cloth and ashes’, – signifying grief, humility, and repentance.

  2. How dare the Speaker be so flippant and dismissive of a legitimate enquiry about a public matter involving property of the citizens of Barbados! No better the clerk whose pathetically transparent attempt at avoiding a simple question speaks volumes about these transient demigods. Every last one of these self-inflated AI (astonishingly ignorant) officials needs to be reminded that they are servants of the people and as such must be forthcoming with information that is of concern to the public. But then again, it takes real men and women to take blame for mistakes made on their watch and refrain from referencing a lost decade at every twist and turn as an answer to their shortcomings.

  3. I have to concur with @BushTea!!!

    I “FEAR” for my country…

    We are told that if the “HEAD” is malignantly compromised – the entire body experiences similar “DYSFUNCTION”…

    We all know that where “THERE IS NO VISION – THE PEOPLE PERISH”!!!

    I am sure that @BT will agree that “RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION…”

    When “OUR LEADERS” have the “WELL-BEING” of its citizens as #Priority#1 and at the forefront of their social policies – the people prosper; have health and will celebrate their leadership!!!

    The retrogression in Bajan society is a palpable cause for serious concern as the pirates of industry & the wafer-thin ‘gods’ of poLIEtical intrigue sacrifice their moral gumption on the altar of greed, avarice & pseudo-power!!!

    Mottley Crew & her sanctum of slithering serpents know what they are doing which reinforces the fact that man’s rulership of other men has always been fundamentally flawed at least & downright egregious at worst!!!

    Barbados can do much better!!!

    We have the highest literacy rate of any nation on earth yet if reading, writing & MATH* were precursive indicators of “WISDOM” – then BIM* would be situated on Mount Olympus – NOT* in the Caribbean Sea where she may be gradually joining the antediluvian relics of ancient Atlantis…

    Heaven help the Black man to resist the “GENETIC PREDISPOSITION” to lean in on his “FAULTY TOWERS” of “POST TRAUMATIC SLAVERY DISORDER” (#PTSD) – while at the same time imploding the lives of the poor, helpless, marginalized & disenfranchised!!!

    “UNSEAT THESE DIRTY BASTERDS” and let’s try another set of “DEVILS”…

    Better the “DEVIL YOU KNOW” is not working – for what could be worse? The ones you don’t know???

  4. David, what are the duties of a Speaker of the House of Assembly as specifically outlined by Barbados’ Constitution? Is he/she mandated thereby, to perform the functions of ‘curator’ of artifacts at Parliament’s museum? If not, would the Speaker have erred in referring queries thereof to the Clerk of Parliament? I’m asking these questions to gain knowledge because, according to you, my ‘my problem is seeing things in black and white.’

    • @Artax

      Without reading the legislation it is generally accepted the Speaker is responsible for the precinct. It appears he delegated the matter to the Clerk of Parliament.

  5. @DAVID

    Why is it so hard to “INSPIRE” a sense of “NATIONAL PATRIOTISM” in the hearts & minds of Bajan people???

    Could it be that after 147 to 387 years (1636 – 1876, according to Prof. Hilary Beckles) of the first slaves landing in Barbados – given that on May 14th, 1625 an English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados with those English “PIRATES” taking possession of the island in the name of King James I. and the first permanent settlers arriving from England in 1627, it became an English & later British “LEPER” colony outpost. Thus, as a wealthy sugar cane “SLAVE” colony, it became an English centre for the African Mercantile Slave Trading in the souls, blood, sweat & tears of a hegemonic people???

    A legacy we have “NEVER” been able to outlive or live-DOWN* – with all its tentacles & repercussions – “DISPLACED” from our ancient families, homes & creature comforts to find “HAVEN” in a land of bondage & servitude!!!

    For just as the study of dendrochronology posits the lifespan of ancient trees – likewise the genealogical rings of the Black man’s metamorphosis remains the inner bark, or “PHLOEM” of his historical psyche – a pipeline through which nutrients or disease is passed to the rest of the family tree of his life!!!

    The words of #BoneyM aptly describes the “BLACK CONDITION”:

    • @TB

      At the root is the unbridled cultural influence and penetration. The question to ask is how to we push back against such influences to achieve what you asked.

  6. I will add one thing to the discussion and its this, speak to an Antiguan about how he feels having Nelson Dockyard and Shirley Heights as one of their major tourist attractions. Compare the response from that person to asking a Bajan how he feels about pulling down Nelson.

    It’s all about the message enshrined in the psyche of people from early. We don’t value history FULL STOP. We treat ALL history the same and that is why the father of independence’s jacket ended on the back of Ninja Man and finally in the St Thomas dump!

  7. @DAVID

    @TB – “At the root is the unbridled cultural influence and penetration. The question to ask is how to we push back against such influences to achieve what you asked…”

    Look Big Bruh, the “CHUCH” (correct spelling) has spectacularly “FAILED”!!!

    The institutions of “GOV” has created a “SPIDER’S WEB” of intrigue, apathy & disillusionment!!!

    Now “GENERATION Z” (those who will be possible leaders tomorrow) – if we don’t “DRAFT” them for #WorldWarIII are not only disillusioned, fed up to the back teeth & willing to do the unthinkable (including “MURDERING” other young people like themselves) but patently have no interests in occupational, national or ideological development of any sort – (forget “PATRIOTISM”) – they could care less whether the country “SINKS” into ATLANTIS* or is ruptured by a seismic earthquake!!!

    David, I am not sure how you pull back such a “WILD” galloping “BLACK STALLION” that has not been broken or its will (UN)accustomed to a bridle & saddle, or even to be ridden given the ethology of Haras de Hus…

    You see the “YOUNGER GENERATION”, Bruh – they just “DO NOT CARE”!!! They operate on a completely different cosmic vibrational wavelength – (something that is almost foreign to us who have lived through the 60s, 70s, 80s & 90s)…

    Maybe your leaders have the “ANSWERS” but where I am standing looking at the “ARC” of the horizon – the world sure looks “FLAT”… (#SeriousHumor)

  8. Have we really become a superficial people, or are we a people in search of something we were told is outside of us and in that external search we’ve found ourselves persuing the elusive, forever seeking but never finding? Hence, the meandering along of the People according to the blogmaster.

    “Last month the Nation newspaper highlighted that artefacts were stolen from the derelict and abandoned West Wing of parliament”

    Why were artefacts left in a direlict and abandoned building and not taken into custody by the relevant authority? Were they really stolen by a vagrant or by individual/s with sound minds and a capacity to store/hide them away?

    Its quite convenient to blame a vagrant.

    House Speaker Arthur Holder’s behaviour is the usual default position of individuals lacking basic etiquette which is quite prevalent in Bim. The dismissive mentality has got to be replaced with knowledgable and respectful engagement..esp for an individual in his standing. We need more couth on the island.

    However, we must never throw out the baby with the bath water. Bajans do have a lot to be proud of, for no weak people could have attained what that little non-natural resourced island have attained w/o something ‘special’ running thru that DNA! We must find balance in that motto, for too much pride and little industry will lead us into the paupers house. I for one do believe that its high time we convert that world class literacy rate into something more fundamentally tangible than mere service.

    LOVE YOURSELVES AND THAT ISLAND AND AT ALL COST PROTECT THE CHILDREN. Despite a few cultural character flaws you have a lot to be proud of. Don’t let naysayers bring you down.



  9. Do you get the idea that the wheels have fallen off the bus, but some are pretending that we are still moving?

    ‘Ordered chaos’ is what I call it. Every shit falling apart, but we have new regulations, departments, buildings and IDs.

    Folks getting lost in psychiatric hospitals, young girls being taken advantage of, lawyers stealing clients money and still practicing and yet some pretend that all is well.

    Men abusing women and walking free. If they touch a tourist the dogs of hell are let loose on them.

    Police bungling every shit that they touch.

    A fellow come and buy a piece of land on a beach and the next thing you know 286,000 people have to find a new path for beach access.

    Your second class citizenship is reinforced

    • No. I do not believe the wheels have fallen off the bus. You’ve itemized the negative. Can you delineate the positive? Is there nothing the natives can do or is everyone just happy to complain and go down with the ‘sinking ship?’

      As far as lawyers stealing money I do believe that issue can be simply rectified. Societies are always stratified. There’s the decent folk, the in-between and then the underbelly. The latter live by its own rules and laws. Its good to know the latter, for the latter can mete out justice on the filthy lawyers in the still of the night.

      The underbelly can also reach out and touch those men abusing women and young girls. Women can also form their own secret posse and do justice to those brutes.

      Come on man, the society is not helpless. If the government is not governing,the citizen must take back their city.

      Time Bajans ‘stop singing and start swinging!’ With all that education no one has any courage?

  10. Since Ninjaman was seen wearing that treasured jacket’ why was he not apprehended nor the police called? Or was it just a skin-teet moment?

    Since Barbados is just a superficial people, w/o values why not call it quits?

    Is there none righteous among you?

  11. @David
    Seems you opened a can of worms with this ones.

    Bushie and Terrence have hit the nail on the head.

    The simple silent stealing of a significant jacket symbolises our state of affairs.

    No culture, no accountability, no national values, no voice.

    Just observing

    • That hole can be Patched! GOD has demanded that ALL Jonahs be thrown off. Get a few ‘GOOD MEN’ as a tug and bring that ship back to shore and SEAL that hole.

    • “….ALL Jonahs be thrown off..”
      @ Hopi
      What issue do you have with Jonah Boss…?
      ..one of Bushie’s role models!!!

      The bushman Jonah simply suggested to the Boss that the level of brassbowlery in Nineveh was at such a high level that a bulldozer approach was needed, …and not a whacker stylee…and he went on strike!!!

      Those Ninevites were almost as bad today’s Bajanbrass skippa…!
      Who can blame Jonah for his judgement…?
      Who was to know that the NBBs (Nineveh Brass Bowls) would wake up, see the Light, repent their BB idiocy,, and seek the source of TRUE wisdom?

      More to the point…
      What is the chance of modern day Bajan BBs exercising such sound judgement…?
      Near to NIL!! …given the emotion-driven, albino-centric led, inclinations of our visionless leaders… faint…

      Any ‘Bajan Jonah’ will therefore be largely SAFE from whales or other large sea creatures….


    Look at those Palestinians in GAZA. They’ve vowed to NEVER give up nor give in. Bajans have everything they need and still complaining. How can you complain and still live in such ‘miserable conditions’ w/o changing a damn thing. Are things really that bad or are Bajans just ungrateful? Is your sense of entitlement getting the best of you? How about trading spaces with Haiti?

    Change the ish or shut to hell up. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    Citizens of like minds with a high spiritual frequency can unite in private and change the trajectory. Change the frequency. The GOB is not untouchable.
    Abusive citizens are touchable.

    Use the creative energies of the Universe to bring about change and make ish happen. At full moon, get a candle anoint it with olive oil and light it up. Send out a prayer to the GOD/ Universe and let it burn. Watch what happens!

    Change ya gawd damn mindsets or you will lose it all. Give thanks to your Ancestors who paved the way so that many of you can live in luxury.

    Ya think GOD got time for complainers?

    Correct…. BUT..
    Unfortunately, this does not apply to Brass Bowls.

    “…Good times can create brass bowls, and Brass Bowls cannot survive hard times, ….they borrow, beg, complain, steal, and become Parros….

    A Big ‘Bush Bath’ is then a requirement for Brass Bowl survival….

  14. This is the same blog and bloggers that had, and have, no problem with the renovation of a listed building without planning permission. No collaboration, supervision or engagement with the National Trust during the works. I keep saying this blog can be too funny.

    • @Enuff

      The country waits for the PM to deliver on her promise regarding Savvy. Her intervention speaks to a problem doesn’t it?

    • @ David
      Does Enuff mean ‘funny’ as in strange … or ‘funny’ as in ‘ha ha’?

      Can you explain to Enuff that the problem that bloggers have is with the Planning Permission taking EONS to be given, and with lack of transparency that has been associated with the whole affair.
      It is only because the victim decided to squeal, that we are aware of details that SHOULD have been in the public arena YEARS ago.

      Is it not passing strange that the PM has been unable to lay the facts on the table as promised…?

      …but MOST interestingly, how is it that THIS particular matter seem to live on in Enuff’s head, well past it’s allocated 7-day lifespan…?
      Do you know why Boss…? LOL ha ha

  15. David

    Ask the PM not me.

    My point neither you nor Bushie can’ refute. Spare me the faux selective outrage about heritage. Cue the entry of the verbosed one.

    • @Enuff

      The PM appears to be committed to her international itinerary above local obligations. Didn’t Caswell suggest this was the reason for late transfer of teachers and principals? The PM had to sign off?

  16. Bushman…….

    What part of that ‘axiom’ does not apply to Barbados? Our Foreparents became strong after facing down hard times. These strong men then created good times thru their hard work and ingenuity which allowed future generations to enjoy said good times resulting in weak men….isn’t that the present condition in Barbados?

    Jonah being disobedient became a burden so he had to go. Same issue here today.


    Bajans are stuck somewhere betwixt Adolescence and Arrested Development. They mainly operate from Reactive EMOTION instead of REASON. Reactive Emotion will always guide you to selfishness, one-upmanship and monkey-see-monkey-do. Without great experience, they think ‘you’ should live up to the standards of their puny, judgemental minds. Island insulation with little exposure results in today’s Blue Print. The scorn and hatred I’ve observed emmanating from minature minds is lamentable. Miniature minds which offer ‘love and compassion’ to strangers (esp the palm-coloured) more than to their kith and kin. Ever wonder why Politicians fiddle the populace? Not that the politicians are any better. They just appear to to be better. There’s something about the ‘god’ Bajans pay homage to on a regular. I think ‘IT’ is a demi-god, a second-class god with which Bajans are quite contented. ‘IT’ offers a false sense of ‘collective security’ w/o surety. Yet IT is still compassionate and patient knowing that IT has pulled the wool over their eye.

    Maybe some more HARD TIMES will awaken the populace from that slumber.

    However, I won’t trade Barbados for another island…(maybe St.Lucia for its natural beauty, temporarily)

  17. We are not far apart Hopi.

    You are right about our strong fore parents facing down hard times, and overcoming impressively. This led to the inevitable weak jokers that arise from such good times.
    Where we part, is with these last set of weak brass bowl men who have gone past the point of being ‘weak’ … to being useless brass bowls.
    So much so, that our WOMEN have had to take up the mantle… least the damn place fall completely apart..

    Can you tell Bushie when in all of history, a bunch of women, however well meaning, have been able to “create good times thru their hard work and ingenuity which allowed future generations to enjoy said good times”.

    …They don’t have the required cojones…. and even if they did, we all know that women care ONLY about TWO things…
    …their children …and themselves….
    Everything else is collateral damage.

    Bushie agrees that Barbados is (was?) the MOST blessed place on Earth. Perhaps this is why theEvil forces have targeted us for such rabid brassbowlery….

  18. Bruh, why so harsh on women? You call yourself collateral damage?


    I will scream at the top of my lungs that your statement about women only caring about themselves and children is WWWROOONNNGGGggggg!

    I think women have a greater capacity to love than men. Women have loved and loved their children and their men even more than themselves…esp the older generations. Why do you think the Creator built us stronger where it really matters? In the HEART and in the Womb. Why do you think we outlive you? Simply because the world needs LOVE! Men are just built strong for the sake of Building. You build it. We preserve it. We put love in it. We make it lovely for you.

    On the matter of the history of women creating good times thru……….I’ll have to research that one…but off the top of my head there’s a society of African women who’ve built their own thatched-roof village w/o men, for them and their children. I think the men are only allowed in for conjugal pleasure and that’s it. Then they have to leave. Though rare, it does exist.

    The issue with brassbowl men in Barbados is simply a false sense of self-importance which I find laughable,

  19. I think women have a greater capacity to love than men.
    They do!
    Because they are designed to synergistically ‘partner’ with a man to become an UNSTOPPABLE force.
    When separated, each sex individually have serious short-comings… especially brass bowl men…

    As an example, Leadership, facing HARD times, making LOGICAL decisions, ..are generally associated with having balls….
    While emotional strength, loving concern, empathy, and passion – are typical feminine and indisputable strengths – but faced with catastrophic hardship and demonic carnage, these qualities can be self-destructive…

    Combined together, of course, such a partnership would LAUGH at hard times, and RELISH any adversity…. like our fore parents did…

    The Creator is a BOSS!
    The design is immaculate,
    If yuh follow the manufacturers instructions- yuh happy as shiite!!
    Mek up yuh own rules, ignore the ‘instructions’, ..and yuh will smell Hell…!!

    The needed STRENGTH to overcome HARD TIMES requires an Adam & Eve team on the field Boss… Not BB ‘Adam & Steve’ or ‘Eve and Genevieve’

  20. From BT
    Every now and then, these Bajan get a glimpse of reality …

    AG: Barbados could soon be off FATF grey list
    “Attorney General Dale Marshall has dismissed the idea that the Caribbean having a seat at the table where international tax rules are made for the global business and financial services sector would make any material difference in regional jurisdictions being unfairly labelled.”

    One comment: It takes us too long to see things as they really are. This time we have avoided some useless huffing and puffing

    • Light on artefacts

      Speaker updates MPs on investigation



      IN WHAT WAS CONSIDERED a rare announcement, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Arthur Holder, issued a statement yesterday revealing the circumstances surrounding the theft of 13 irreplaceable artefacts from the Parliament Museum and the National Heroes Gallery over a month ago.

      It was made under the rubric “Announcements by His Honour the Speaker” on the order of business during yesterday’s sitting of the House.

      It came five days after the NATION tried without success to find out from the Speaker what items had been stolen from the West Wing of Parliament. That section has been out of use for the past three years due to repairs.

      Reading from a document, Holder, who has responsibility for Parliament, also confirmed reports already published by this newspaper that police had been able to ascertain from video footage who the culprit was and also that the person was known to the police. Holder stated: “On the 11th of October 2023, I was informed that the manager of Parliament’s Museum and two employees went to the museum to collect a wooden ballot box to show to students who were scheduled to visit Parliament, when it was discovered that some items were missing from the museum. The Barbados Police Service was immediately contacted and investigations commenced.”

      He added that on October 14, he requested a report from Clerk of Parliament Pedro Eastmond, as well as reports from Randy Alleyne and Errol Walcott in relation to people who had had access to the museum, and video footage.

      The Speaker said he received reports from the individuals listed on October 22, 23 and 24, consecutively, and they were forwarded to the police. He then outlined his interactions with the police.

      “On the 23rd of October, I met with the senior superintendent of the Bridgetown Division to ascertain what stage they were at relative to the investigation. I have been in constant contact with the police since then. “I last spoke to the superintendent on the 6th of November. I have been informed that the fingerprints results are back and I expect soon that the police would give an update to the public and the stage that the investigation is at, because the footage has shown a particular person that is known to the police. That is the report as it relates to the missing items from the Barbados Museum.”

      The SUNDAY SUN of October 22 broke the story about the missing artefacts. At that time, Eastmond declined to offer any information, stating that he would first have to provide a report to the Speaker.

      Last week, the DAILY NATION attempted to get an update and a list of the missing items but once again Eastmond and the Speaker declined to speak on the matter, with Eastmond indicating it was an active criminal investigation.

      Reports from sources indicate that the individual pinpointed by police is a wellknown vagrant who is presently a patient at the Psychiatric Hospital.

      Sources also told the MIDWEEK NATION

      that the possibility of the priceless artefacts being recovered was almost non-existent since all of the items belonging to the vagrant were dumped by the Sanitation Service Authority.

      When contacted yesterday, Steve Blackett, general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party, reiterated that the theft of the items was a “national shame”.

      “Artefacts that were kept in what is considered one of the most secured buildings not only in Bridgetown but in Barbados, could have been so breached to have the artefacts and the contents of that same place stolen.

      “I really believe those things should have been secured in a place like the National Museum while the West Wing was under renovation. The artefacts should have been placed in the museum for safekeeping until the repairs were complete.

      “There is a school of thought that that is really the starting point or a continuation of the obliteration of Barrow’s legacy. It is really a national shame,” he declared.

      Source: Nation

    • Artefacts gone – a crying shame

      An irreparable loss of knowledge, an attack on our cultural soul and a plundering of our historical memory.

      That paints an accurate yet shameful picture of the disappearance of priceless artefacts from the Parliament Museum and National Heroes Gallery in the West Wing of the Parliament Buildings. It’s a disgrace which cried out for full disclosure of what really happened, maximum punishment for the perpetrator(s) and a determined effort to prevent it from occurring again.

      What the heist indicates is that like many things involving our country these days, Barbados has joined the global list of states which have suffered at the hands of collectors, traders or even vagrants caught up in the dirty business of stealing or destroying artefacts estimated by the United Nations and art experts to be worth about US$5 billion to $6 billion worldwide.

      In Barbados’ case, available evidence gathered by the police indicates the suspected mastermind was a person known to the law and who may have a history of mental illness. Even so, it is mind-boggling that it happened at all. In addition, the pilfered items may be irretrievable, probably ending up in the landfill. What a loss.

      It took the requests of innocent Barbadian children on a tour of the Parliament Buildings to trigger a search whose results alerted the authorities to the missing items. This suggests that the national treasures were not being adequately protected within in the precincts of Parliament.

      “The children wanted to see what a ballot box looks like, so the tour guide went to the museum to retrieve one and that was when the museum was found in disarray and the items missing,” a source had explained.

      Then Barbadians had to wait almost a month after the disappearance was first revealed by the Sunday Sun to get official word about the extent of the plunder, and to hear something about what may be done to prevent it from recurring. Mind-boggling in an era of the 24/7 news cycle.

      Now that Speaker of the House of Assembly Arthur Holder has spoken (on Tuesday), we have learnt that 13 irreplaceable artefacts have disappeared. They include:

      • A historic jacket worn by Errol Barrow, Barbados’ first Prime Minister and ‘Father of Independence’;

      • A briefcase carried by Sir Grantley Adams, Barbados’ first Premier and the lone Prime Minister of the defunct West Indies Federation;

      • Leather boots belonging to Mr Barrow;

      • A police buckle from the 1937 Riots, which started the economic and social revolution of our nation; and

      • Treasures that can be traced to the lives of National Heroes Samuel Jackman Prescod, Sir Frank Walcott and Sir Garfield Sobers.

      Internationally, there is a flourishing global trade in the trafficking of such cultural goods, with Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean among the most victimised.

      In addition, about 90 per cent of the highly valuable African artefacts, collectively valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, can be found in British, American, French and German museums, and in private collections after they were reported stolen. Many reside in the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris, France, which, according to ART News, declined to repatriate them to the rightful owners, including Nigeria and Senegal.

      Just last month, a few weeks before the artefact plunder was discovered, UNESCO, to which Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours belong, announced the launching of the world’s first virtual museum of stolen cultural artefacts. It’s a move to raise public awareness of the unique importance of cultural heritage.

      As UNESCO’s director general Audrey Azoulay explained quite correctly, “behind every stolen work or fragment lies a piece of history, identity and humanity that has been wrenched from its custodians, rendered inaccessible to research and risk falling into oblivion”.

      Little wonder that France’s President Emmanuel Macron has called for Barbados to seek to have photographs of its stolen artefacts included in the international museum and draw global attention to them.

      The disappearance raises an important question: how secure are the highlyprized collections in our national museum at the Garrison? We need to find out. Interpol, which has a national central bureau at the Barbados Police Services’ headquarters, which is within walking distance of the Parliament Buildings, can help. Interpol is involved in the global hunt for stolen artefacts and can be invited to participate in our search.

      Our police should not limit their search to local crooks, but to the international antiquities market while at the same time educating institutions and collectors across Barbados about the importance of boosting the security of their historic pieces.

      One never knows, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society could one day be on the list of targets drawn up by criminals or people who, mentally, cannot help themselves when it comes to right and wrong, domestic or international.

      What is required is an organised and nationwide campaign to collect and give to a refurbished West Wing of Parliament more historic artefacts, paintings and sculptures that are suitable for secure display in the museum and gallery there.

      Our heritage must not be allowed to slip through the cracks, by hook nor by crook

      Source: Nation

  21. Let’s hope that they know the correct person. Give a dog a bad name and hang him.

    I hope that some unfortunate soul does not get caught up in this mess.

  22. @Hants
    There was a guy who used to make costume jewellery from turtle shell ( which would be illegal today) and other items from “black” coral. These were all aimed at the tourist market on the gold coast.

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