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Hati-Heritage: Ongoing investigation into the theft of cannons from the Citadelle Laferrire, organizations dismayed

  • June 6, 2024
  • 6 Min
  • 2

P-to-P, June 6, 2024 [AlterPresse] — Different organizations and associations denounce the recent theft of two culverines (small caliber transportable cannons) at the Citadelle Laferrière (also called Citadel Henri Christophe, a military structure built at the beginning of the 19th century in Milo)t, in Milot (North ), in separate notes seen by the online agency AlterPresse.

The disappearance of these two canons constitutes additional proof, which shows once again how historic sites and natural landscapes do not benefit from any monitoring and management measures, criticize several ecological organizations. [[1]

They demand another environmental governance in Haiti to be able to safeguard protected areas, which include natural and historical heritage on the verge of disappearing, due to state neglect.

“To elucidate the matter, punish the guilty and do everything possible to recover the culverins, an investigation is underway and public action has been initiated against the authors and co-authors of the crime,” announced the Institute. for the preservation of national heritage (Ispan), in a note.

Employees of the Citadelle Laferrière are being questioned by the judicial authorities of Cap-Haïtien, “since that, without some internal complicity, it would have been impossible to leave the premises with the missing parts”, reports Ispan .

The cannon files will be sent to the International Police (Interpol) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to counter possible international trafficking of these art objects, which are collector’s items, adds Ispan.

After their hearing, 12 employees of La Citadelle Laferrière would be placed in police custody, on Wednesday June 5, 2024, in Cap-Haitien, as part of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of the 2 culverins at the Citadelle Henri Christophe, report several media.

The Haiti Tourist Association (Ath) says it is deeply dismayed by the theft of two culverins at the Citadelle Henri, one of the three emblematic monuments of the Historic National Park in Haiti, classified as a world heritage site.

“This unacceptable act highlights the problem of management of our heritage and cultural sites,” notes Ath, which calls on the competent authorities, in particular Ispan, to take immediate measures to strengthen the security of the Citadelle Henri.

The Ath takes the opportunity to also condemn the repeated acts of vandalism, which occur at the National Historical Park (Citadelle-Sans Souci-Ramiers), referring to the arson of the Milot chapel in 2020, as well as the theft of two heritage objects from the permanent collection of the Citadelle Henri museum, which occurred four years later.

“These incidents raise the question of whether they are part of a macabre plan to decommission the National Historic Park, or whether they are the result of a lack of leadership on the part of those who are responsible for the preservation of this heritage.

The Haitian Tourist Association urges state authorities “to strengthen measures to protect cultural heritage and to cooperate closely to prevent the illicit trade of our cultural property,” emphasizing how “the reconstruction of the Haitian social fabric requires by preserving our heritage that we must bequeath to future generations.” [emb rc apr 06/06/2024 11:40]

Photo: Account X of the Institute for the Protection of National Heritage (Ispan)

[[1] The organizations signing the note are the Ecological Intervention Group of Haiti (Ecovert-Haïti), the Federation of Associations for Community Development of the Visit (Fadecov), Young Fighters United for Change towards a Sustainable Society in Haiti ( Jecorecs-dh), the Support Movement for the Development of Haitian Local Authorities (Madecth) and the Grouping of Visionaries for the Progress of Haitian Youth (Reviprojh).