St Lucia National Trust says government money cut forced closure of museum, housed in reconstruction of Nobel-winning poets former home
A museum on the site of the boyhood home of the poet and playwright Derek Walcott has shut amid a fund shortfall that has been linked to disputes over controversial tourist developings on St Lucia.
The Nobel laureate, who died in March, attended a rite last year to mark the opening of the museum, housed in a reconstruction of his former home in the Caribbean islands capital, Castries.
But the St Lucia National Trust has since shuttered the Walcott House, quoting budget cuts.
The trust, along with some residents and environmentalists, has now been expressed concerns over a planned $2.6 bn resort scheme masterminded by a Hong Kong-based pony racing tycoon that is to be partly funded by the sale of St Lucian citizenship to Asian investors.
It fears that a proposed causeway connecting a nature reserve to the mainland would harm the shoreline and threaten endemic rare species. In March, the trust published an essay on its website entitled A Causeway for Concern.
The trust is also objecting to a schemed dolphinarium at the Pigeon Island national park in the north of the island.
In April, the St Lucian government announced the removal of the trusts annual subsidy, which amounts to about $250,000 or about 20% of its yearly budget. This cut, the trust says, has forced it to shut the 700 sq ft Walcott House, which has running costs of about $80,000 per year.
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