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Freedom Village falling to pieces

MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

Freedom Village falling to pieces

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The Rock Hall Freedom Village, A UNESCO World heritage site, is in a sate of neglect. Close to $1.5 million was spent on the design of the 20-foot stainless steel monument depicting a family freed from slavery and the five kiosks which were supposed to be used for tourism entrepreneurship, but after 14 years, the village remains run down.

The showpiece monument needs cleaning and refurbishment; a section of the wooden barricade around the perimeter of the monument is rotten and broken while trees and vegetation are growing wild around the entire complex.

But the most telling signs of dereliction are the colourful termite-infested kiosks, which took nine years to build and have never been utilised.

Long-time St Thomas representative Cynthia Forde, who has been one of the main driving forces behind the development of Rock Hall, the first free village in Barbados after the emancipation of slaves, said she was deeply hurt at its deteriorated state.

In 2005 she and the Freedom Village team headed by Adisa Andwele (AJA) opened Rock Hall as a heritage site starting with the steel monument sculpted by Barbadian Stanton Haynes.

It was supposed to be a major historical tourist attraction with the refurbishment of a slave hut, a link bridge to the monument, the kiosks and an interpretation centre. (MB)

Read the full story in the Sunday Sun.