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National Museum’s goal: Educate the public on St. Kitts and Nevis history

Executive Director of St. Christopher National Trust, Ryllis Percival.

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Educating the public locally, regionally and internationally on the history of St. Kitts and Nevis is the main goal at the National Museum, according to Executive Director of the St. Christopher National Trust (SCNT), Ryllis Percival. While appearing on the Government’s weekly programme, “Working For You,” Ms. Percival invited the public to visit the museum and view exhibits that are rich in local history.

Ms. Percival said the museum has fixed exhibits that are always available to view and special exhibits that run temporarily.

“Since I’ve been there, we’ve focused a lot on educating our citizens and visitors and decided to do that through the exhibits we put on,” she said.

Ms. Percival outlined some noteworthy museum exhibits including “Statehood,” which mapped out the journey of St. Kitts and Nevis from Associated Statehood to Independence, and “Inside Government House,” which gives an in-depth look at the purpose and operations of Government House.

She said the “Slave Registry Exhibit” was a high point for the museum. It brought a lot of visitors with inquiring minds to see the 1817 register of slaves. She said the museum also has had an exhibit named the “Emancipation Journey,” which displayed the journey from 1834 to 1934, the first 100 years after Emancipation.

“Just recently we had the ‘How Music Feels Art Exhibit’ and right now we are running the Cleghorn Journals Exhibit,” said Ms. Percival, as she explained the exhibit was done by Ralph Cleghorn, who was a specially appointed local magistrate from a mixed-race family.

“I encourage visitors to come and sit and read because it is so important for you to appreciate what happened then with the slaves,” she said.

She mentioned another special exhibit that will be coming in October on ‘Commerce in St. Kitts.’

“These exhibits take a lot of time to design and a lot of resources,” Ms. Percival explained. “A lot of work is spent on each exhibit to make sure the information is presented properly and is factual and accurate to educate the public about local history.”

SCNT members have free access to all museum exhibits, however, non-members, who are residents, pay EC$5.00 and visitors pay US$5.00.