Robben Island World Heritage Site and Le Morne Cultural Landscape (World Heritage Site) of the Republic of Mauritius join forces to promote cultural diversity

Robben Island World Heritage Site and Le Morne Cultural Landscape, (situated in the Republic of Mauritius), will be signing a Twinning Agreement on 20 March 2017.

The Minister of Arts and Culture of South Africa, Honourable Nathi Mthethwa and the Minister of Sports and Culture of Mauritius, Honourable Prithvirajsing Roopun, will jointly sign the Twinning Agreement on Monday, 20 March 2017 at the Atlantic Imbizo, Clock Tower House from 12:00 to 14:00. This Agreement is intended to promote cultural and commercial ties congruently.  It is also a way of connecting Robben Island to other and similar sites of social memory on the African continent.

Robben Island and Le Morne Cultural Landscape share a common history of how people triumphed against great adversity. At Robben Island, banishment was due to white segregationist laws and Apartheid, while at Le Morne banishment resulted from exploitation of indentured slaves. The social memory relating to these varying but common adversity episodes resulted in the two sites being inscribed as World Heritage Sites. Their universal significance is expressed in the social memory associated with each site; related intangible values, historical context and the solidarity uniting the two sites as cultural landscapes. It is this shared history which has led to the development of a partnership between the two sites.

The purpose of this Twinning Agreement is to strengthen ties between both countries. The partnership is expected to promote the following:

  • Joint research and publishing of the social memory, intangible values, history of both sites;
  • Technical exchange of best practice programmes in the areas of conservation and management of the two sites sharing the same shoreline challenges;
  • Synergies for tourism in collaboration with respective Departments of Tourism (South Africa and Mauritius) as part of capturing the flowing tourists in both countries;
  • Exhibitions and sharing of website platform in order to increase accessibility of sites and raise awareness beyond national borders for mutual benefit.
  • Supporting the implementation of the current Cultural Agreement between South Africa and Mauritius with any of the above areas of partnership between RIM and Le Morne, forming an annual joint programme to be implemented by both parties.

For more information about Robben Island Museum, please visit: or contact: +27 (0)21 413 4200. Join Robben Island Museum on their social media platforms and share your island experience: Facebook (Robben Island Museum – An agency of the Department of Arts & Culture) / Twitter (@robben_island).

More information about Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum (RIM) is a public entity responsible for managing, maintaining, presenting, developing and marketing Robben Island as a national estate and World Heritage Site. It was established by the Department of Arts and Culture in 1997.

RIM implements a wide range of conservation, educational, tourist development, research, archiving and general heritage programmes that are designed to achieve its mandate; conserve the Island’s natural and cultural resources and heritage; and promote it as a platform for critical debate and life-long learning.

RIM is also responsible for managing and maintaining the assets of the Island. These include the Maximum and Medium Security Prison Complexes, Robert Sobukwe’s House, the Curio and Village Shops, the Village Precinct and associated recreational facilities, the Helipad and runway on the Island, World War 2 memorials, power generation and water processing plants, Jetty 1 and the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V & A Waterfront, the Mayibuye Archives, the three (3) ferries that transport people to the Island and the fleet of buses used by tourists on the Island.

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