Old Fort to Become Guanacaste Museum

September 29, 2006

Thanks to a recent legislative decree, a former army garrison in the northwestern province of Guanacaste stands to become a little brother to the NationalMuseum, itself a military barracks turned cultural treasure house.

If President Oscar Arias signs law number 15,723, approved by the Legislative Assembly the week of Sept. 11, the Liberia Plaza Command Post will display provincial cultural artifacts as the Museum of Guanacaste, the daily La Nación reported. The law would pass control of the aging 4,000-square-meter property from the Ministry of Public Security to the Municipality of Liberia, Guanacaste’s capital. According to the decree, the museum should “show the region’s cultural richness and promote the recovery of the manifestations, goods and values of the province,” La Nación reported.

San José’s NationalMuseum would lend a hand in making a museum out of the historic building, designed in the 1930s with art deco elements by José María Barrantes.

The principal collection would be items representative of Guanacaste that are now housed at the NationalMuseum. Funding for restoration and operation of the new museum, which should quickly exceed $385,000, is not yet secured, but could come from governmental and private donations as well as fundraising by an administrative association of the museum.

The daily quoted legislator Maureen Ballestero of the National Liberation Party: “We need to promote a cultural tourism in the province to show much more than sun, beach and hotels.” Ballestero said she hoped that Guanacaste real estate project Ecodesarrollo Papagayo would support the new museum.

 

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