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    Underwater and Maritime Museum will be Installed at the Monument to Fray Antón de Montesinos
    Underwater and Maritime Museum will be Installed at the Monument to Fray Antón de Montesinos

    Underwater and Maritime Museum will be Installed at the Monument to Fray Antón de Montesinos
    Santo Domingo, March 20th, 2015

    A museum dedicated to the underwater, maritime, and port cultural heritage of the Dominican Republic will be installed soon in the surrounding area of the Monument to Fray Antón de Montesinos, donated to the country by Mexico in 1982.

    The creation of the museum will be possible after the Ministry of Culture (MINC), represented by its Minister, singer and songwriter José Antonio Rodríguez, and the Dominican Maritime Museum Foundation, represented by its President, Mr. Karsten Hermann Windeler, signed an agreement last Wednesday.

    The agreement was signed in the presence of Mr. Freddy Heinsen, President of the Ship-owners Association of the Dominican Republic; Dr. Carlos Salcedo, Director of the Ministerial Cabinet; Engineer Pedro Brorrel, and Dr. Fidias Aristy, Legal Consultant at the MINC.

    After signing the document, Minister Rodríguez said that it is indeed part of the policy of the President of the Republic, Mr. Danilo Medina Sánchez, to conduct joint initiatives with the private sector.

    The official is convinced of the project success, as he believes that the museum will enhance a very important part of the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, which is the reason why he hopes it will become a model to follow.

    While addressing those present at the signing ceremony businessman Hermann acknowledged that President Medina Sánchez is a champion of this type of agreements, and that the announcement of the museum has already aroused great enthusiasm in the community nearby the Monument to Fray Antón de Montesinos, “since it will greatly improve the surroundings of the area.”

    Hermann stated that another benefit of the new facilities is that it will improve the entrances to the Port of Santo Domingo, located on Ave. George Washington, where Ave. Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deñó, in the National District, begins.

    According to the agreement, the MINC shall prepare and submit programs and projects to further continue the research, conservation, enhancement, and dissemination of the underwater, maritime and port heritage assets of the Dominican Republic. Both parties commit to jointly select and appoint the personnel that shall continue to conduct the research work and other activities under the agreement.

    The agreement also states that a committee of technicians from the Vice Ministry of Cultural Heritage, the Museum of the Dominican Man, the National Directorate of Monument Heritage and the National Bureau of Underwater Heritage shall ensure that, for the installation and operation of that museum, the laws and regulations of the Dominican Republic be observed.

    For its part, the Dominican Maritime Museum Foundation shall be responsible for the installation of the exhibition center and will provide the resources listed in the annexes of the agreement. It shall also ensure the protection, appreciation and dissemination of movable and immovable property of the underwater, maritime and port heritage exhibited in the aforementioned museum.

    The foundation also shall finance the design and installation of the center, taking into account that the entire work to be conducted at the Monument to Fray Antón de Montesinos must have the required permits and must take into consideration the Constitution of the Republic, which provides for the protection of the underwater cultural heritage assets of the Dominican Republic.

    Monument to Montesinos
    It is worth recalling that Fray Antonio de Montesinos was an advocate of the Taínos. He arrived to the island of Hispaniola (Santo Domingo/Haiti) with the first friars of the Order of the Dominicans.

    Upon his arrival, he identified with the plight of the natives, so he decided to start a fight for the rights of the latter, considering that they were humans too and equal to the Spaniards. His speech on the fourth Sunday of Advent of 1511 is memorable, a brave sermon against the conquerors and their barbarism during those days.

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