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Maritime Museum to be built on the Malecon Santo Domingo

The construction of a Dominican Maritime Museum, with an investment of US$10 million was announced yesterday, Thursday 10 December 2015 during the celebration of human rights day at the Monument to Catholic friar Anton de Montesinos on the Malecon seafront boulevard in Santo Domingo.

Construction will begin in 2016, according to Cruz Apestegue, representative of the Dominican Maritime Museum Foundation, adding that funding would come from companies in the country’s shipping sector. It has the support of the Ministry of Culture.

“The plan is to connect to the San Jose Fort through a tunnel and construct two buildings for a museum and area for auxiliary services and research.” He said the museum would show Dominican history from its origin to the 20th Century and the contributions that have arrived by sea.

The museum will be built near the Monument to Fray Anton Montesinos and will help revive this part of the Santo Domingo Malecon while positioning the city as the birthplace of human rights movements in the Americas. The first proclamation against human rights abuse was made in Santo Domingo when missionary Anton de Montesinos preached against the enslavement and harsh treatment of the indigenous peoples on the island of Hispaniola.

He is remembered for his impassioned sermon on the fourth Sunday of Advent, 21 December 1511, when he criticized the practices of the Spanish colonial encomienda system and the abuse of the Taino people. This was 19 years after Columbus had landed on the island and the colonization had begun.

In 1982, the Mexican government donated a 15-meter tall statue of Montesinos portraying him delivering his sermon. Nevertheless, the area has been totally neglected and in recent years was in the news as the site used by accused pedophile, the late former papal nuncio Josef Wesolowski to commit several of the crimes.

The initiative from the Dominican Shippers Association was presented during the commemoration of the International Day of Human Rights, an event sponsored by ProConsumidor at the Montesinos Monument. Actor Ivan Garcia played the part of the famous friar and recited the famous Advent speech that has been recognized as the first advocacy speech in favor of human rights.

Also speaking at the human rights event were ProConsumidor director Altagracia Paulino, Culture Minister Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Mexican ambassador Carlos Tirado Zavala, Human Rights Commission vice president Jose Anibal Guzman and Public Defense Office director Laura Hernandez.

Source: DR1, Elcaribe

Dec 11, 2015

Category: DR News |

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