BY SAMIE WAIKORI
LOCAL artists have expressed excitement over the new crafts market centre project.
A Mr Barney Walalau said it is a dream come true for them as their need to have a standard facility to display their artefacts has been considered.
“I want to thank the ROC (Taiwan), EIF-NIU and Solomon Islands Government for their support to fund this craft centre.
“It is the first of its kind for the country and will be very useful especially to us artists to sell our artifacts.
“We see it as a great achievement that will boost our career in arts and craft.
“And a great recognition to us whom most of us artists are from rural areas and never employed,” he said.
Walalau said having the facility will provide them a conducive environment they can trade with tourists when visiting the country just in a location.
“Like what we have experienced now, the artists displayed their products along the streets which are not right place to do business.
“It is also risky as we just station along the roads and with no proper shelter that is not suitable,” he said.
Walalau reiterated that having the new craft centre is a milestone for them the country as a whole.
He said with the beneficiaries the craft centre will have it will contribute a lot to the country’s economy and the cultural pride of the nation.
The ground breaking ceremony of the new craft centre project will take place today at the National Art Gallery.
It will be formally officiated by the visiting Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
The new craft market centre was co-funded by EIF-NIU, ROC (Taiwan) and Solomon Islands Government in support of the Cultural Industries and Tourism Development in Solomon Islands.