|This is set in Otrabanda, as an annex to his hotel of the same name. Other museum specialists, real ones, have told me that much of the material on exhibition in there has been illegally exported from countries like Ghana. The museum purports to show us how we all are victims of the terrible practice of slavery. Fair enough, even if I personally feel that much too much of this sort of
history is making the rounds these days, accomplishing nothing but increasing hate feelings of the colored part of our population against the whities.
With many of our politicians thriving on exploiting and stimulating xenophobic feelings, just what we need.
If you take a guided tour through the museum, you will probably be told that it is located where the slaves, upon arriving from Africa, first put foot ashore. For all I know, this is an outright lie: All history books I have read agree they arrived at what's now still called Asiento, for that very reason.
|Hotel Kurá Hulanda
This is part of the old barrio Otrabanda on
the other side of the harbor. Gelt Dekker just bought it and, to start, ruined it as a city part by enclosing it with walls and gates. Nobody can walk through there any more as they used to. He then started
restoring it with, again, total disregard for the old architecture and its urban functions. At least one unique wooden building was just duplicated elsewhere. The place is full of kitschy elaborate metalwork lamp posts, waterworks and antique cobble-stones, none of them even slightly authentic. Vegetation also is much too rich and not at all characteristic for Curaçao with its desert climate, where water is scarce and dear.
It's so bad, my wife, an architect herself, who did the sound recording for our movie Edgar Palm en Otrabanda, after Gelt Dekker got through with it even failed to recognize the house where we'd shot an important scene!
Worse, in this form the set-up as a hotel just eats energy, and it must be incredibly expensive to service. Gelt Dekker tries to attract the exorbitantly rich, his own kind, as clientele, but it does not look like he is very succesful. If one thing seems sure, it is that when Gelt Dekker dies, the place will be closed down and we'll all be stuck with the unpracticable remains as a monument to his folly.