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Heritage Week in Seychelles marked by recognizing historical sites on Praslin island

Heritage Week in Seychelles marked by recognizing historical sites on Praslin island ( As Seychelles celebrated 2016 Heritage Week, the staff of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation and friends of heritage gathered on Praslin specifically at La Pointe St. Sauveur to unveil a plaque on a traditional lime kiln “Four Laso.” This is the newest attraction to the Praslin heritage route and the island’s cultural tourism. The event had the presence of the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange; the Principal Secretary for Culture, Benjamine Rose; and Patrick Nanty, the Special Advisor to Minister for Cultural Affairs in attendance. Among the invited guests present were the Vice Chairperson of the Heritage Clubs from Mahe, a representative from Mason's Travel, staff of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation, and some Praslinois.

A lime kiln remains an important heritage asset for the islands. They played a significant role mainly in the construction industry of Seychelles. Many of the buildings, including private homes and other heritage assets, of which some are still standing today, were built using lime. These include churches, schools, cemeteries, a water reservoir, and so forth. The lime kiln on this property was recognized during Heritage Week 2016, and was built by Arthur Savy. According to oral accounts, lime produced from the kiln were even exported to the main island of Mahé.

Last year in commemoration of Heritage Week 2015, the Seychelles Heritage Foundation signed an MOU with the Confait family of Praslin to adopt and help towards the preservation, conservation, and promotion of the traditional lime kiln. During Heritage Week 2016, the Heritage Foundation was happy to unveil the information board for this lime kiln heritage site.

The Confait family has been clearing, cleaning, and maintaining the site and keeping it in a good state. The Seychelles Heritage Foundation and its partners had been working on the information board to ensure maximum information could be provided at one glance. The representative of the Ministry of Land Use and Housing, Ron Esther, has also assisted in many ways including designing of a small bridge to facilitate access across the kiln and to allow visitors to see the kiln closely. Joel Confait has agreed to build a small kiosk adjacent to the kiln for visitors to better appreciate the magnificent piece of craftsmanship. The Seychelles Heritage Foundation is certain that now with the opening of a restaurant nearby, many visitors will visit the site that is easily seen from the main road.

The Seychelles Heritage Foundation and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture said that they were delighted to work in collaboration with Mr. Confait. “He is a Praslinois, and it is comforting to see Seychellois joining in for the preservation, conservation, and promotion of yet another heritage site," said a representative of the Heritage Foundation.

Another site that was given recognition was the treasure trail situated on the property owned by Christopher Gill, known as the Ile des Palmes Eco Resort, Anse Takamaka. This Heritage trail is probably one of the most completed heritage sites on the island, where one can appreciate the number of heritage assets from distillery to cemetery, from water storage to an ancient pirates’ baking area, etc.

There is an MOU between the Seychelles Heritage Foundation and Christopher Gill of Anse Takamaka for the joint preservation, conservation, and promotion of the site. Miera Savy, the CEO of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation, took the opportunity to appeal to the business community of Praslin, especially the tourism industry to make good use of the sites. “By doing so, you are not only promoting the heritage of Seychelles, but part of the contribution derived from the site will go towards the financing of Heritage Club activities, for this is an agreement under the signed MOU. The site is an educational center for the heritage clubs," Mars Savy said.

On his part, Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, said as he addressed those gathered at the two sites that protection of the Seychelles’ historical sites is only part of the country’s responsibility. “We also need to get our discerning visitors to see such heritage sites. This is a sure way to give to our visitors fonder memories of our islands. When visitors see our history, when they get a chance to appreciate our culture, they are better able to understand our way of life and appreciate us as a holiday destination, because we all know we have more than just sun, sea, and sand," said Minister St.Ange, as he appealed to the local DMCs to include these historical sites as part of their tours and to the hotels to inform the visitors of these sites to ensure they want to visit them.


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