THE Ministry of Culture and Tourism through its Culture Division has proposed establishing the first ever crafts centre for the country.

The crafts centre is being planned to be built in the current Art Gallery site in Honiara.

Director of Culture Division under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr Dennis Marita said the plan was already formalised and is only awaiting implementation.

He told this paper yesterday that this is part of the preparation for the 2018 Melanesian Festival of Arts and Culture, as they plan to integrate the site to become a central venue for crafts showcasing during the festival.

Mr Marita said this is one of the key areas they will work towards, as it was their utmost hope for the venue to complete before the festival next year.

He added that in preparation to build the craft centre, his office will meet with key donors and relevant ministries next week to discuss ways forward to carry-out the plan.

Mr Marita said integration of the site will be a milestone for the crafts people in the country as it will help them sell their products in a more improved and attractive environment.

“Putting on this idea is indeed a relief for crafts people in the country as it will solve their long standing issue to have a well build crafts centre to do their market.

“As the plan targeted the festival next year, that will just a part of the plan but the infrastructure will be there and later use by the local crafts people.

“A well-integrated site where it will be a centre for arts and crafts where people can go straight to the area if they want crafts products.

“Establishing the site will also an improvement whereby it will make easy for tourists to come only to a venue to find the products they may wish rather than going from venue to venue,” he said.

Mr Marita said coming up with this plan is a long time plan of the ministry to create a better site for crafts people.

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Milton Ragaruma
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