The rehabilitation and maintenance of monuments linked to Portuguese history in Kenya is the responsibility of the Kenyan government, but Portugal is “available” to collaborate, according to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
Historical heritage such as Forte Jesus in Mombasa or the Vasco da Gama pattern and the Portuguese church of Melinde face several risks, from the erosion caused by the sea to the wear and tear of the passage of time, but its conservation is strongly conditioned by the difficulties of financing.
Recognizing that these are “three very important examples of Portuguese heritage in Africa“, Teresa Ribeiro pointed out that Portugal “is available to collaborate“, but stressed that the recovery of the heritage and responsibilities for the conservation of this heritage belong entirely to Kenya.
“We [Portugal] will help without any hesitation, but the heritage is in Kenya, it belongs to Kenya and must be properly cared for by Kenya, even if it can mobilize international support and even if Portugal has a special appreciation for the conservation of that heritage and is available for help them to be maintained in the best conditions, ” said the official.
Teresa Ribeiro said that Portugal is available to support Kenya, especially in the preparation of technical studies, for which it also counts on the support of the Gulbenkian Foundation “which has made an invaluable contribution in the identification of heritage and technical studies with a view to its recovery “.
Currently, Kenya has interventions underway at Fort Jesus in Mombasa, a UNESCO World Heritage monument dating from the 16th century and intends to move forward with the construction of a breakwater to mitigate the effects of the rippling on the Vasco Range, built in 1498, in Melinde.