PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — In a press release over the weekend, Member of Parliament and Democratic Party (DP) leader, Sarah Wescot-Williams questioned statements by the VROMI minister regarding the demolition of the old administration building and the imminent fate of the statue of the late Dr. Claude Wathey, co-founder and first leader of the DP.
“These statements have left me with more questions about government’s intentions for the statue of Dr. A. C. Wathey”, the MP stated.
“My preoccupation stems from statements such as, the statue might have to be stored; there will be a Wall of Heroes, but not as a replacement for this statue; there are plans in the work at the ministry of VROMI, but these can not be revealed, so what is it?”
Via the parliamentary channels I have therefore asked the following pertinent questions:
Has a storage location for the statue been identified? If so where?
Has a permanent site been identified? If so, where?
If not, when?
“These are questions that must be answered way beforehand, so as not to fall in the trap of the storage becoming the permanent home for the statue. I have the uncanny feeling that unless something is said, this is exactly what will happen. It is sad enough that it has stood at its current location for as long as it did, but that is water under the bridge”.
If we can have a groundbreaking for the demolition of a derelict building, removal and restoration of an icon’s statue need to done thoughtfully and respectfully, MP Wescot further stated.
On another note, I applaud the renewed attention for our heroes and icons, as this idea of a Wall of St. Martin heroes has been on the books at the Ministry of Culture for the longest time. Statues are an important part of our history and should remain so, because they each tell a story, reminiscent of past eras and the contribution of personalities , the MP concluded.