French Embassy to fund museum

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Thursday, February 6, 2014


ANGELES CITY -- The Embassy of France to the Philippines has vowed to fund the conversion of the Pamintuan Mansion into a museum.

This was learned from Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan who said that the City Government and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines under Maria Serena Diokno were able to convince the French Embassy to fund the project.

He said that the old Pamintuan residence in Sto. Rosario will become the Museum of Philippine Social History once the project is completed.

During a recent visit at the heritage site, French Ambassador Gilles Garachon, together with Michel Villar, Cultural Councilor and Ariane Tricaud, Cultural Attaché, expressed their willingness to support the local government and the NHCP.

According to Pamintuan, the support of the French Ambassador will help in the realization of the city’s goal to declare the area covered by the Holy Rosary Parish, Museo ning Angeles, the soon-to-rise Plaza Angel and the Pamintuan Mansion to become an official heritage district.

“Angeles City is currently in the midst of revival – but to achieve this, the Angeleños should have an appreciation of the past in order to fully understand the present – and this museum will do just that” the mayor said.

He added that culture is the “soul of any metropolis,” and Angeles should also cherish its own history, culture and traditions alongside the massive economic growth it has experience throughout the years.

For his part, Garachon expressed his gratitude for the “overwhelming hospitality” of city officials and for the mayor’s firm commitment to culture.

“Apart from the city of Paris, the food, the wine and the cheese, heritage is also a huge part of France’s history, and this is a reason why we came here to support the mayor and the NHCP’s goal to convert the house into a museum,” Garachon stated.

He said he was impressed by the country’s vast and diverse heritage – and that the Filipinos should be very proud of it.

The Museum of Philippine Social History

Diokno explained to the French Ambassador and city officials how the NHCP is currently working on the conversion of the site into the first permanent textile museum of the country.

She said the museum will let visitors experience the vibrant past of the country, while at the same time, bringing life in the field of social history.

“The museum will display elements that describe the ordinary life of Filipinos from the past to the present – and to successfully do this, we have partnered ourselves with a group of French museologists and museographers, most of which are experts in textiles.” she said, adding that they have already started collecting pieces for the museum.

“This will allow us to display several clothes and garments worn by ordinary Filipinos, as well as tools and utensils, and even the music of the Filipinos since 1908.” Diokno expressed.

A key reason as to why they chose it to be a museum of social history is to educate the people, especially the youth, on the richness of the Filipino culture and their day to day living.

“We have to change the mindset of the people. It’s not true that all of our culture came from the Spanish and other colonizers. Even before the Spaniards came, we already had our own culture, and we aim to showcase just that.”

Artifacts will come from the catalogue of 740 pieces from Patis Tesoro’s collection, who is a designer of embroidered textile and formal wear fabrics and history advocate here in the country.

Some 105 textiles and accessories will also come from Tesoro’s collection; 130 from the Silahis collection; 5 to 6 textiles from Intramuros; and 7 textiles from the NHCP collection.

The museum will also include a music room, audio-visual room, a museum café, e-learning room which can accommodate 30 students at a time, mediation room for workshops, and a glass elevator for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

Diokno thanked the massive support of the local government and Mayor Pamintuan for this endeavor.

She said that the mayor’s efforts such as the clearing of the area beside the Museo ning Angeles for the beautification of the site will definitely improve their chances of declaring area as a heritage zone.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 07, 2014.

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