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Jamaica’s Seville Heritage Park and exhibit opens in time for Emancipation

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KINGSTON,  Jamaica, July 12, 2013 - The Ministry of Youth and Culture through its agency the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) officially re-opened the upgraded Seville Heritage Park on Friday, July 12.

The heritage site now hosts an exhibition on the Spanish period in Jamaica and will be the venue of the National Emancipation Jubilee celebrations on Emancipation Day, July 1.

Minister of Youth and Culture, the Honourable Lisa Hanna said the reopening of Seville forms part of the strategic vision of the Ministry to spark a cultural revolution in the Jamaican society which will see more of our people knowing and appreciating the totality of their history, culture and heritage. “We are resolute in our mission to teach our children and future generations about themselves and to achieve the cultural policy objectives of creating an even stronger national identity among our people,” she said.

She said the Seville Exhibition joins the Permanent Exhibition at Roxborough in Manchester opened on July 4 which immortalizes the work and contribution of Rt. Excellent Norman Washington Manley.

The rebranded National Museum of Jamaica will also open on July 21 in Kingston, with the National Museum of the West to follow in Montego Bay. The National Museum will open with the first major tribute exhibition highlighting the origins and other features of Jamaica’s Rastafari movement.

“I am pleased to preside as Minister with responsibility for Culture over a period of improvement and expansion in the number and quality of museums to present to the Jamaican people and to the world, various aspects of our rich and vibrant heritage,” she added.

The Culture Minister explained that the exhibition on the Seville property will turn the spotlight on an aspect of the Jamaican heritage that is not readily at the forefront of the minds of many Jamaicans. “Here at Sevilla la Nueva the multidimensional nature of the Jamaican heritage is represented.

The memory of the pre-Columbian period before Spanish arrival is indelibly etched in the Taino village sites. This exhibition will reawaken the Jamaican population and the world to the 150 years of Spanish presence in Jamaica," she said.

The redevelopment of Seville has been the result of the collaborative effort of several organizations. These include the Ministry of Youth and Culture and its agency, the JNHT, the Spanish Jamaica Foundation and the Government of Spain; the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Ministry of Tourism. In expressing her thanks to these organizations,

Minister Hanna said it is her hope that visitors to the site will appreciate the convergence of cultures depicted and embraced by the physical landscape and history of the Seville property.  “To all the other organizations and persons who have been involved and continue to be supportive of New Seville, I commend you and thank you,’ she said. Minister Hanna added that the redevelopment of Seville forms part of the Government’s plans for Heritage Tourism.