Maldives resort 'statue' controversy: government was made aware of details of project

  • While Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fenfushi unveiled the world's first semi-submerged art gallery last Monday, the President's Office commented on the matter on Friday
  • A credible source informed that all relevant institutions were informed prior to commencing project

K. Male' | Aishath Shaany | 30-July-2018 | Monday 11:06 | Shaaknee | Local | 1,486

The Coralarium by Jason deCaires Taylor at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi -- Photo by: Hotelier Maldives

It has been revealed that the government was aware of the statues that were used in the semi-submerged art gallery in Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fenfushi that recently faced public condemnation.

According to a credible source that wished to remain anonymous, officials of the project had given a presentation at the ministry of tourism detailing the concept on the gallery, including the statues and what they represent. They had also provided an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to the Environment Protection Agency as the gallery was being installed in the sea.

It is also important to note that tourism minister Moosa Zameer had spoken to some local new outlets regarding the project, saying that they had held discussions with the resort after learning of plans to build such a project.

The source said that despite the ministry being informed of possible issues that might arise due to the use of 'idols' in the art installment, that it had given the go ahead for the project.

In addition, the matter was also brought to the attention to the Maldives Police Service (MPS).

While Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fenfushi unveiled the world's first semi-submerged art gallery last Monday, the President's Office commented on the matter on Friday after public outrage and had acted as they had not heard of the project before.

"Regarding the information received by the president's office that statues have been put up at Shaviyani Sirru Fenfushi.  The tourism ministry is working to remove them, along with resort management. The removal will be completed by tomorrow", reads the tweet set out by the President's Office spokesperson in Dhivehi on Friday.

However, RaajjeMV now understands that the gallery was built after completing all necessary procedures including informing the tourism ministry.

State broadcaster Public Service Media (PSM) had accused the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) of being involved in the project, saying it was done to slander the government at this crucial time when the country is preparing for the presidential elections. However, the MDP official accused- Komandoo constituency MP Ahmed 'ADK' Nashid- denied the involvement of any members of the party.



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