“Today is a truly remarkable day,” according to Ronella Croes, director of Aruba’s Tourism Office (ATA), during the celebration that took place in Fort Zoutman this week.
As a strategic partner, ATA is extremely proud to announce the reopening of the four museums that fall under the management of the Aruban Museum Foundation (Fundacion Museo Arubano.) These are the Historical Museum of Aruba, Industry Museum, Community Museum, and Carnival Euphoria. The reopening of these museums provide an opportunity for the locals and visitors to explore and appreciate our history and cultural heritage more closely.
In the past, ATA would proudly give a contribution to our museums that are operated by FMA. A new agreement between ATA and FMA is tied in the efforts to preserve and promote the history and culture of Aruba – one of the key aspects on which ATA focuses. As part of the new agreement, ATA not only will make sure that the museums are open, but will also work closely with FMA to guarantee the necessary promotion to attract visitors for our museums.
During her speech, the director of ATA elaborated on the importance of good collaboration between partners: “The following years it will be essential to restructure and position our existing museums to reach a sustainable plan. For this reason, it is of utmost importance for ATA, as a strategic partner, together with his Excellencies the minister of Tourism, Dangui Oduber, minister of Culture, Xiomara Maduro, and FMA has announced the reopening of these four museums. As a commitment to promote and advance our culture, ATA continues highlighting these four museums as a crucial aspect for our community and our tourism.”
Our museums, which are a reflection of our identity, give us an opportunity to know our past and appreciate our heritage. Simply put, museums help with education, inspiration and connection between communities.
Aside from the museums, ATA is proud to carry, among others, the Aruba Art Fair, which will be celebrating its sixth edition in September. ATA is also happy to contribute to the Dia di Brazi, Bon Bini Festival, Carnival and other national celebrations, which include the Dande Festival and the Flag and Anthem. All these are concrete examples of ATA’s commitment to contribute to valuable cultural experiences, both for the people of Aruba as well as all those who visit our island.
The minister of Culture, Xiomara Maduro gave a speech during which she thanked her colleague minister of Tourism, ATA, Aruba Ports Authority and FMA for their collaboration and efforts to make the reopening of the four museums possible.
Aruba’s museums went through difficulty just like other museums all around the world during the Covid pandemic. Tourism was down and together with it, the funds that ATA and APA provided for FMA, which brought the operation of the museums in danger. This caused the museums to have to close their doors and send employees home, which was very paintful.
In the end, FMA remained with only one worker who was helped with funds from Mondriaanfonds.
Meanwhile the ministry of Culture made sure that the collections were properly cared for and conserved, but the funds were not sufficient to cover the operation of the four museums. However, together with funds from the Tourism Product Enhancement Fund TPEF, it was possible to fix Fort Zoutman and open this in collaboration with ATA to organize the much loved Bon Bini Festival.
The Museum of Industry also can count with the cooperation of Utilities and the Community Museum with the good cooperation of Monumentenfonds. The minister of Culture thanked all organizations and people involved for their commitment which now results in the reopening of the four museums under the management of FMA.