The Monuments and Relics Commission has completed a cleaning exercise at one of its most historic monuments, the Old Fourah Bay College building at Cline Town in Freetown.
The exercise which attracted participants from the the Cline Town community was supervised by the Research Development Unit of the Commission. Chairperson of the MRC, Isatu Smith says that the cleaning of the edifice was key to preserving the monument adding that with the availability of funds thorough restoration work would be done.
Prior to the resuscitation of the Monuments and Relics Commission, the building was permanently occupied by squatters who were not only destroying the historic site but equally relegating the status of such an enormous structure.
“No building is maintenence-free, so every structure, heritage or new, requires care to limit deterioration.” Remarked Francis Momoh, MRC’s Research Development Officer.
The routine inspection of Old Fourah Bay College Building by Monuments and Relics Commission laid the foundation for the cleaning exercise to forestall further deterioration thereby maintaining a key parameter for Sierra Leone’s global reverence as the “Athens of West Africa”.
As an insignia of knowledge impartation in British West Africa, old FBC is the only surviving structure in modern Sub-Saharan Africa after the collapse of a similar centre in Timbuktu.
The cleaning exercise is key to raising awareness about the preservation needs and further management of a historic building that still stands in the richness of form centuries ago.
The Old Fourah Bay College building is one of the most important monuments of the MRC. In the last couple of years, efforts were made to get the site listed on the watch list of the World Monuments Fund due to its Outstanding Universal Value.