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Monday, April 15, 2024

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Heritage: The Belal Storm Devastates The Musée De La Petite Collection

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Last week’s storm Belal also affected the Musée de la Petite Collection in Rose-Belle, washing away half a century’s worth of exhibits. Damage is estimated at Rs 3 million.

Hénry Rotile

Goorooduth Chuttoo and his son Dilesh are left with a priceless loss after storm Belal. “Storm Belal hit the south of the country the hardest during its passage. Its gusts did not spare our museum. And with good reason, several vintage objects bearing witness to Mauritius’s past were damaged or washed away. We estimate the value of these items at Rs 3 million. But beyond the financial aspect, what saddens us the most is that Belal left with a piece of our history,” explains Dilesh.

Musée de la Petite Collection in Rose-Belle
The museum suffered losses estimated at Rs 3 million.

In addition to the old photos of Mauritius in the past and the old advertising hoardings, what has suffered the most is a wagon dating from the British period: “It was after a lot of effort that my father was able to acquire this wagon. Today, it has lost the sheet metal that covered it. We’ll have to redo everything. But it will be impossible to find the original materials for its repair.”

To make sure this doesn’t happen again, the management is planning to better protect the museum: “We’ll have to replace the tin roof with a concrete one. Then, for the wagon outside, we want to protect it with a structure,” points out Dilesh.

Currently closed to the public, the museum plans to reopen in two weeks’ time, from February 5.

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