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Tonga National Cultural Center returned to Government

(Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 26/09/2016)

The Tonga National Cultural Center was completely returned to Government last Wednesday.

It is now managed and organized by the Cultural and Youth Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Head of Division and Deputy CEO – Pulupaki Ika confirmed in an interview with Radio and Television Tonga that the former occupants of the premises which is the ‘Unuaki ‘o Tonga Royal Institute have vacated the compound.

The Ministry is now trying to bring back the original setting of the centre as a place to keep and sustain cultural and traditional artifacts of the country particularly the national museum. Currently, they’re working to return the Center to the way it was before, which includes returning of pictures and other important items that were previously kept in the museum but were moved to other areas.

The Center was constructed by the Governments of Tonga and Japan with the objective of preserving Tonga’s cultural and traditional valuable artifacts and materials, but was later privatized by previous governments in efforts to promote privatization to help the economy.

In 2009, ‘Etuate Lavulavu signed an agreement for the privatization of the Government’s asset in which he managed the Center for years and operated several tourism businesses in the centre, including the ‘Unuaki ‘o Tonga institute.

Later, the Government ordered the ‘Unuaki ‘o Tonga to vacate the area in a Court Order but was stalled for several reasons.

Contacts have been made to the Director of the ‘Unuaki ‘o Tonga for comment on the issue but to no avail.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016