Tourists coming to visit the exotic islands of Seychelles now have a new attraction to put on their to-do-list as the iconic Kenwyn House reopens its door as a gallery in the country’s small capital, Victoria.
Located on Francis Rachel Street, Kenwyn House is one of the few remaining French colonial style house left in the island nation. Built in 1855, it was home to the colony’s chief examiner at the time, Dr. James Henry Brooks.
In 1984, Kenwyn House was declared a national monument, granting it protected status. Earlier this year, Gran Kaz, an entertainment center started leasing Kenwyn House. The company renovated the building that was slowly dilapidating into ruins.
The Seychelles Tourism Board, Chief Executive Mrs. Sherin Francis mentioned her satisfaction to see Kenwyn House reopen its doors to the public and visitors.
“I commend the various partners who collaborated in making this project a success. The reopening of Kenwyn House is not only another attraction added to the itinerary of our visitors but also the revival of our historical heritage,” said Mrs. Francis.
After 4 months of renovation work on the building, the historical landmark is today home to a permanent exhibition of around 40 art pieces made by local artists and a wall dedicated to the world’s biggest nut, the exotic and endemic Coco de Mer.
Talking about the wall, the public relations and communications manager of Gran Kaz, Ms. Shama Amesbury, said that it was made with the help of the Seychelles Island Foundation (SIF).
“The Coco de Mer wall is the first in Seychelles and undoubtedly the first in the world. The wish is that the Coco de Mer wall will become a landmark in its own rights and shall be a perfect place to take a Seychelles selfie,” said Ms. Amesbury.
In the near future, the colonial building will host a third attraction – a telecommunications museum to be donated by Cable and Wireless Seychelles.
Addressing invitees during the opening of the gallery on October 27, 2018 the Mayor of Victoria, Mr. David Andre, said that he is happy and relieved to see Kenwyn House open its doors to the public again.
“I am relieved today to see that this beautiful house has been restored and is going to be used as an art gallery to promote art and culture in this wonderful setting in the middle of Victoria with a relaxing area,” said Mr. Andre.
His wish is to see the garden around the area used to host light music.
“Kenwyn House will be a place where artists and art lovers find themselves in this wonderful city, the Creole capital, Victoria,” concluded Mr. Andre.
Present at the opening of the gallery were Vice-President Vincent Meriton, Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, and artists, among other guests. The gallery is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.