Prime Minister Gaston Browne is hopeful that the new sculpture unveiled at the V.C Bird International Airport, will encourage young Antigua and Barbuda artists to venture off into the trade of sculpting.
The Prime Minister was speaking during the unveiling ceremony on Friday.
“What is important is the transfer of skills that is taking place currently. As the minister said we have a number of young Antiguans and Barbudans who are presently being trained in this type of artwork which will help us to provide some evidence of our history in art while at the same time helping to improve the skills of our people, not only for our use but for visitors that cone to the country,” he said.
The sculpture which was crafted by a Cuban artist, depicts Antigua’s history from the colonial slave trade to where the country is today.
The Prime Minister is optimistic that artists will use the craft not only as an inspiration to document history and to create other pieces which could be exported.
“We think that emanating from this, individuals who have been trained in the various aspects of the art will hep us to not only document our own history but they themselves can literally develop products and services which can be exported. In fact, I see no reason why this piece of artwork should not be patented and perhaps replicas of it being reproduced for use by both locals and visitors as a momento for our history during slavery,” the Prime Minister noted.
Minister of Health and the Environment Molwyn Joseph who was also present during the ceremony, said the sculpture is a symbol of what lies within young Antiguans and Barbuda’s.
“A part from the history it tells, it also sends a message to young people that you have it within you to create something. This is indigenous work and here we have an indigenous talent and we here we have a sculptor done with our indigenous wood to create an important part of our history and the message is so important….when young people come to see this they must see that there is something within themselves that is lurking to be developed,: the Minister noted.
The artwork took approximately one year to be completed.