Seychelles Heritage incentive scheme



Minister visits traditional house after restoration


The Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange on Wednesday visited the first establishment which has been funded under the Seychelles Heritage incentive scheme.

Launched in 2014, this scheme is a first of its kind where the Seychelles government provides financial support for private establishments to repair and maintain buildings and houses of heritage value in an effort to promote Seychelles’ rich architectural tradition and the country’s built heritage.

These include private as well as public buildings and houses, big or small.

The Seychelles Heritage incentive scheme is being administered by the Seychelles Heritage Foundation (SHF), Seychelles Tourism Board (STB), monuments board, tourism ministry, Ministry of Land Use and Housing, and the community department in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports.

The first establishment to be funded is the only wooden traditional house at Anse Etoile, owned by Patrick and Anette Mahoune.

The original building has been standing there for about 150 years, but Mr Mahoune moved in the house in 1982 and he has been maintaining it ever since.

Mr and Mrs Mahoune, along with their daughter Annabel Mahoune, welcomed the minister along with his delegation and the committee members governing the scheme.

Mr Mahoune led the delegation on a tour of the house and gave a brief history of the residence and its heritage value.

He also showed the renovation work done by the contractor provided to him under the scheme.

Sixteen pillars have been rebuilt, rotten floor boards and balustrades replaced, certain areas of the ceiling repaired and debris cleaned from the site.

Minister St Ange said he loves traditional houses and the idea behind this scheme.

“Through this we are preserving sites for our future grandchildren to know how we lived before all the concrete and bricks sprung up,” he said.

“It did not seem like a priority before but now the department of culture has stated that if we want to protect we need to practice what the rest of the world is doing to preserve their heritage albeit costly,” he added.

He also commended Mr Mahoune for keeping such a heritage intact for all these years.

Mr Mahoune said when he was younger and still employed he was able to maintain the house but with advancing age he was no longer able to work and the house became more costly to maintain.

“I was reasonable when I applied, because if I had asked for the maintenance of the whole house it would have cost about R300,000 but I focused on the areas which needed urgent repair instead as my doors were not functioning properly and my veranda was falling apart,” he said.

Mr Mahoune also discussed his plans of making his establishment a tourist accommodation by adding kiosks and bungalows similar to the house’s architecture to enhance the attraction of the site.

He also raised concerns about the bins located directly opposite his entrance, something he said would affect his future plans.                                                                                                                                                              

The chief executive of SHF, Miera Savy, called on businesses to contribute towards repairs and maintenance of any building which has been identified as a building of heritage value under the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

For further information about the scheme contact SHF La Bastille on 4224542.



Source: NATION 5-27-16