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Land ‘small token for Rihanna’


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$1.2 million!That’s the value of land which Government is giving Barbadian rhythm and blues (R&B) recording artist and songwriter Rihanna.The 2 635 square-metre parcel of land is in the upscale Apes Hill Development in St James, part of 470 acres of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery Barbados has to offer.The Apes Hill golf, polo and residential community, the region where it is sited, has panoramic views of both the famous west coast and rugged east coast.With support from the Opposition, the House of Assembly yesterday approved Government’s decision to offer Rihanna the plot in recognition of her outstanding achievements as an entertainer and her  work in “putting  Barbados on the map”.Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, piloted the resolution, saying that construction magnate Sir Charles Williams and the Apes  Hill project developers  had offered Government the land at a cost of  $100 000, a fraction  of its market value. Government front-benchers Patrick Todd and Stephen Lashley called for more developments to honour the singing sensation who has had scores of awards and such hits as Umbrella, Pon de Replay, Don’t Stop The Music and SOS.Stephen Lashley (Christ Church West Central) suggested that Westbury New Road, St Michael, where Rihanna grew up be renamed “Rihanna Drive” or “Rihanna Avenue”.He wants the area “developed” and “a touch of Rihanna” added “so that any time anyone ventures into Westbury New Road that there would be no doubt that this is the home of Rihanna”.Todd (City of Bridgetown) said that  for Barbados Rihanna and her music could be used in much the same way the music of the legendary Californian band, The Beach Boys, had been mobilised  to promote American culture and tourism.Some agreement  should be reached with  the superstar to market Rihanna dolls or Rihanna textiles, just  as American and other businesses had sought  to cash in on Rihanna umbrellas after her song Umbrella had taken the world by storm, Todd told parliamentarians.Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, said the offer of land for Rihanna was “a small token of appreciation” and “a small price” to pay for the “tremendous benefits” Barbados had gained and stood to receive from Rihanna’s achievements and work. (TY)

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