President David Granger earlier today (Wednesday) stated clearly that he is not aware that permission needs to be sought from the National Trust for Government to repaint monumental buildings around Georgetown and as such, maintained that he has not broken any law.
Just last week, the APNU/AFC Administration came in for heavy criticisms after it bypassed the National Trust and began changing the colour of State House from white to green – the dominant colour of the People’s National Congress and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), both of which the president is leader.
In response to a question from a member of the media, Granger, today, said he is concerned about “preserving heritage” which is why a decision was taken to have several significant structures in the city repaired and repainted.
“I am not aware that repair, there is lots of rot and some of the windows have fallen out and the decision was taken to repair the rotting board and repaint it… We have historical buildings all across the country [and] some of them are collapsing. I weep when I see the condition of the city, St George’s Cathedral, and I am very concerned about preserving heritage; that is why I am repairing State House,” he told media operatives during a side interview.
On Friday last, when asked whether State House was going green, Granger stated “Guyana is going green” as he walked away from media operatives, chuckling.
Since the APNU/AFC coalition came into Government, it has been actively repainting several public buildings using the colour green.
The National Trust of Guyana was established following the passage of the National Trust Act, No 7 of 1972. The Act “makes provision for the preservation of monuments, sites, places and objects of historic interest or national importance”.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Trust, Nirvanie Persaud, while repair works are welcomed, major construction and repainting must be communicated to the entity, in accordance with the law.
As such, she told media operatives that a letter was penned to the Ministry of the Presidency (MotP) seeking an explanation as to the reason for the colour change at State House.
However, today, Granger told media operatives that he has not seen such a letter.
“I have not received a letter from the National Trust. I am not aware a law has been broken, I am not aware,” he maintained. (Ramona Luthi)