As we close this year, we’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on the successes of 2022!
Publication ‘Willemstad Werelderfgoed’
Monumentenzorg has contributed to the development of the book ‘Willemstad Werelderfgoed – Kleurrijke stad aan een natuurlijke haven’, which was published in May 2022. This book highlights why our historic inner city is considered of important heritage, not only locally or in the context of the Kingdom, but for the world as a whole. The book also provides historical context on the development of the four city districts. Finally, in a chapter co-written by our managing director Marcel Dennert, attention is paid to the developments in the city in the 25 years since its acknowledgment as World Heritage. The book is beautifully formatted with original, colorful pictures of the inner city. It was published by Uitgeverij Matrijs and is for sale in bookstores.
Kurá di Kuenta ‘Fleur de Marie’
The official book presentation of ‘Kurá di Kuenta – Fleur de Marie’ took place on October 15th in Fleur de Marie. During a colorful presentation senior (former) inhabitants of the neighborhood declared stories and poems about their youth, in which Fleur de Marie is the main character, written under the guidance of Wintertuin Curaçao. In the book, an important chapter of oral history is recorded, detailing the social relationship between this working-class neighborhood and their employers living along Scharlooweg, and the impact on Fleur de Marie of the construction, and subsequent collapse of the Juliana Bridge.
Our chairman Herbert van der Woude delivered a keynote speech during the fourth edition of the investor’s seminar Invest in Willemstad at the end of November. The seminar is geared towards individuals and organizations interested in investing in monumental and non-monumental buildings and projects within the borders of the World Heritage City. In his speech, Van der Woude announced that Monumentenzorg Curaçao will for the first time in its history consider selling a few of the properties in its care. This would generate funds that can be reinvested in the restoration of more dilapidated monuments. The entire speech, and those of the other keynote speakers and district representatives, can be watched on YouTube.
25-Years Willemstad World Heritage City
On December 4th, 1997 our historical city of Willemstad was officially listed by UNESCO as being of outstanding universal value to the global community. The 25-year anniversary of this important recognition was celebrated the entire week leading up to December 4th, with different activities in the city districts, guided school excursions, the Road to Plaza event, and finally the Open Monuments Day. The World Heritage City consists of the four city districts – Punda, Otrobanda, Scharloo, and Pietermaai – as well as the floating pontoon bridge that connects Punda to Otrobanda. Willemstad shines with a mix of European architecture and uniquely local building methods.
Open Monuments Day
After weeks of rain the sun came out and the people of the Rif Area in Otrobanda opened their doors. On December 4th, after a hiatus of 5 years, Monumentu Habri could finally take place. The event attracted hundreds of people to the alleyways south of the Breedestraat. With no less than 15 out of the 34 buildings on the list being owned by Monumentenzorg Curaçao, we were very well represented. Our own headquarters was on Zaantjessteeg 1. Several empty buildings were displayed, like the recently renovated Sebastopol and Rifwaterstraat 9 & 11, and properties waiting for restoration like on Conscientiesteeg and Gasthuisstraat. Several tenants also opened their doors and aspiring tenants ran a pop-up coffee shop in the unit they are thinking of renting. If you are also interested in moving your small business to this upcoming neighborhood, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the options.
Renovations Rifwaterstraat 9 & 11
In December renovations were completed at this building on the corner of Rifwaterstraat and Conscientiesteeg. On the ground floor we temporarily moved out the tenants so we could restore their kitchen, treat the walls against salt spots and freshen up the entire space. The upstairs apartment was already empty. The casement windows were replaced with shutter windows for improved privacy and ventilation. Furthermore, some structural and wood repairs were done. All the walls were painted on the inside and outside, so this charming city house can shine into the new year. In the new year, the tenants will move back in downstairs and the upstairs will be available to rent. If you are interested to live in this house, or any other monument in our portfolio, make sure to register on our waiting list by sending an email to email@example.com.
At the end of November we started with major maintenance to plantation house Knip. This is in anticipation of the plans by Fundashon Musea Tula (FMT) to reopen the Tula Museum in the course of 2023. Ever since Kas di Kulture went bankrupt in 2020 the museum has been closed and the plantation house has been vacant. As the owner of the plantation house, we are confident in the plans of FMT and this is why we will invest approximately 200k of self-generated funds into these renovations. These will include repairing cracked walls, painting inside and out, wood repairs, and leveling the yellow ‘IJssel’ brick floor. For the past 2 years, we have not had any rental income on this property while the maintenance costs have been ongoing. This is why we have decided to be proactive and start. The work is expected to be finished by March 2023.
The new year will bring new energy to our organization. In the past years, we have worked on our strategic goals which will start to come to fruition this upcoming year. This means that we will be actively promoting entrepreneurship in our World Heritage City, we will for the first time offer restored monuments up for sale and we will launch two informative platforms on the World Heritage City to support the spread of knowledge and sharing of information on Willemstad and our monumental heritage outside of the city.