History of the Monuments Office Aruba
The Government of Aruba established the Monuments Office Aruba on January 1 1996 by government decree. They started in a small location in the Christian Education Center and moved one month later to their new location in the Maria Convent located in the Dominicanessestraat. Soon even this location became small and in 1997, they moved again to yet another, bigger location in the Zoutmanstraat 1. In 2001, they moved once more to their current location in Schelpstraat 36-38.
Over the years, the Monuments Office Aruba grew including their workload. In 1996, the Monuments Office Aruba only consisted of three employees. In 2013, they restructured the Monuments Office Aruba and currently have 11 filled positions and 4 job openings. One of the major changes in 2013 was that the department started drawing their blueprints for their restorations and have full overview and supervision when executing their projects. The Monuments Office Aruba resorted under multiple ministers in the years, namely, Mrs. Dr. L. Beke-Martinez, Mr.
T.F.R. Lee, Mrs. M. Hooyboer-Winklaar, Mr. O. Oduber, Mr. mr. M. Eman and currently Minister Xiomara Maduro. Since the beginning of the Monuments Office Aruba in 1996, and up to today, they had only one director, Mrs. Ing. Yvonne Webb-Kock.
Tasks of the Monuments Office Aruba
The Monuments Office Aruba is responsible to gather norms and criteria for the protection process. They do research and investigation, provide technical guidance for restorations, lead its execution, draw blueprints, inspect permits, execute government policy, provide information and promote our monuments, etc.
The first project of the Monuments Office Aruba was the renovation of the current building of the City Hall. The renovations of the government-owned building started in 1996 and finished in 1998. After completion of the renovation, the building’s ownership was transferred to the Monuments Funds. Other interesting projects executed by the Monuments Office Aruba are:
Supervision and guidance of the relocation of the old building located in the main street to the Weststraat. This was done in 2000 and the building’s ownership was ultimately transferred to the Monument Funds, 7 years after renovations.
- The Ecury Building was their biggest project so far which took many years to complete.
- The Cas Ceremonial (Governor’s Ceremonial residence).
The Monuments Office Aruba creates awareness about the importance of monuments and gives lectures to students from Primary schools, Secondary schools, and University students. The Director also instructed many teachers in Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and St. Maarten for their Master's degree in architecture in Aruba. The Monuments Office Aruba also organizes the yearly Paseo Monumental to celebrate their anniversary. However, it was cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Monuments Office Aruba has listed all monuments and is currently documenting all information digitally of each monument.
Current restoration and maintenance projects include the DRH office, the interior of the former Lab for the DVG, and a big restoration of the Courthouse.
For more information about the Monuments Office Aruba’s 25th anniversary please follow them on Facebook @monumentenbureau.
The Monuments Office Aruba is grateful to Minister Xiomara Maduro for all her support, as well as the Council of Monuments, ex-colleagues, and all other government departments for their collaboration, architects and their advisors, construction companies, and subcontractors, and all who contributed to the Monuments Office Aruba.