JIS News

Repair work on the statue of National Hero the Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle, located in front of the Morant Bay Courthouse in St. Thomas should be completed by mid-November.
Executive Director of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Mrs. Laleta Davis-Mattis, made the announcement as she addressed the weekly JIS Think Tank yesterday (October 14).
The statue, which was defaced by a person of unsound mind, was removed from its base in August by the JNHT for restoration.
The work is being carried out by noted sculptor, Mr. Fitz Harrack and includes the replacement of the corroded steel with brass at the base of the statue. Mr. Harrack noted that the salt air from the sea had contributed to the deterioration of the steel.
The restoration was initially slated to be completed for remounting this month in time for heritage celebrations.
In the meantime, Mrs. Davis-Mattis said a town meeting will be held with residents in St. Thomas before replacing the statue. She said that some community members have expressed concern about the resemblance of the monument to Paul Bogle and want it removed. “We are engaging persons in that dialogue. We have had representations from various groups,” she said.
Additionally, she said, the JNHT will be exploring the possibility of erecting another statue at Stony Gut in St. Thomas, the birthplace of Bogle, which is a heritage site.
“It is very important that we erect a statue that would represent the true lineage of Paul Bogle because what we have now is a photograph of Paul Bogle,” she stated.
The statue at Morant Bay was designed by the late sculptor, Edna Manley, wife of National Hero, Norman Manley. It was erected in October 1965 and declared a national monument by the JNHT on April 3, 2003.

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