National Trust on quest to save ruins
September 28, 2007

National Trust on quest to save ruins

Last evening, the St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) National Trust unveiled three panels with six glyphs that are life-size replicas of the Argyle petroglyphs, at their annual Earle Kirby Memorial lecture, at the Trust’s headquarters downstairs the old public library building.{{more}}

The original petroglyphs are slated for destruction to facilitate the building of the international airport. After some earlier consultations, the International Airport Development Company decided to replicate the rock arts as they could not be saved. However, the consensus in some quarters is that not enough was done to find a solution that would save the petroglyphs.

One longstanding Trust member who wishes to remain anonymous told SEARCHLIGHT that the petroglyphs have never been studied and no one knows why they are located there or why they are facing that direction. “It’s a shame that we are going to destroy something so ancient and vital to our existence over an airport that may never be built,” he further stated.

Another issue of contention is the building of the alternative road above the airport site at Escape. The road, which is already designed, runs through some sugar mill ruins which the Trust is trying to preserve as a picnic and recreation heritage site.

Several visits were made to the site by members of the Board of Directors of the Trust along with the road’s contractors and engineers to work out a solution that everyone can be happy with, but so far none has been reached.

The engineers contend that to divert the road as the Trust recommends would cause delays and an extra million dollars as the road would have to be realigned, and the bridge redesigned. The Trust counters that one million dollars is nothing compared to the heritage value of the ruins.

Deputy Chair of the Trust Louise Mitchell-Joseph said, “I hate to think that my children will not be able to benefit from and enjoy their heritage because of one million dollars.”

The National Trust has embarked on a number of programmes this year, one of which is a traveling exhibition of books by Caribbean and African authors and domestic artifacts. Yesterday’s lecture also included an archeological display of prehistoric artifacts.