Minister Anroux Marais' speech at 29th anniversary of Bartolomeu Dias Museum
MINISTER OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT, ANROUX MARAIS
29TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BARTOLOMEU DIAS MUSEUM IN MOSSEL BAY
2 FEBRUARY 2017
Good morning, molweni nonke, goeiemore,
It is always an absolute pleasure to visit Mossel Bay and its surrounding areas. The visit today is made even more special as we celebrate the 29th anniversary of the Bartolomeu Dias Museum while enjoying the annual Dias and Port Festival with our international guests and visitors.
Real museums have been said to be places where time is transformed into space and the Bartolomeu Dias Museum is testament to this very notion. One never leaves this museum the same way one entered as the exhibitions have the ability to capture your attention and pique your interests on various levels while informing on a time gone by and inculcating a way of being in present and future generations.
Kate Williams once said, “The modern museum has multiple purposes - to curate and preserve, to research, and to reach out to the public. They challenge us and ask us to question our assumptions about the past or the world around us”. As we find ourselves in the worst drought to hit our province in decades, in time to come, this very museum and many others will document and educate on the dire situation experienced in this space and time.
The exhibitions will show the collective efforts to save our precious resource and the measures put in place to reduce demand on our water supply. Most importantly it will highlight the resilience of the people of the Western Cape and how we united in the face of adversity and avoided Day Zero by working together towards the common goal of water saving for the greater good of all who call the Western Cape home.
This is the power held in museums and as we celebrate the 29th Anniversary of the Bartolomeu Dias Museum today, ask yourself where you, as an individual and as a family will fit into the account of the 2018 water crisis. We all have a role to play. We can defeat day zero, but it is going to take each and everyone’s proactive effort to save our essential asset that is water.
On that note, I take this opportunity to thank the dedicated staff of the Bartolomeu Dias Museum for the professional spirit in which they welcome, educate and provoke thoughts, assumptions and perceptions of each visitor and in that way share our local past experiences to improve on those of today and those of the future.
Any museum can invite you to look, a great one changes the way you see.
I thank you.