Philipsburg – November 5th, 2020. The General Audit Chamber submitted its report entitled “The Legend of Lohkay” to Parliament today. As the celebration of St. Maarten’s Day approaches, the report highlights the management of the country’s tangible cultural heritage. The statue of Lohkay, a female freedom fighter and heroine during the era of slavery, was placed in the center of Belair Roundabout and unveiled in 2006. In 2018, the statue was removed from its location and has not been returned to date.
The report outlines facts about the statue, Government’s role and its responsibilities. The Audit Chamber also mentions other government-owned statues that are not part of the scope of the monument ordinance. The report presents the public funds spent on purchasing the Lohkay statue and the lack of clarity regarding the statue’s return to its location. The report addresses future obligations associated with the statue’s whereabouts and its maintenance.
While we are close to celebrating St. Maarten’s Day, the Audit Chamber notes that reflection of the upkeep of cultural heritage should be a priority.
The report is published in both English and Dutch and is available on the website of the General Audit Chamber (www.arsxm.org).