Surinam is receiving almost 112,000 euros from the Dutch HGIS Culture Budget to restore the only wooden officers quarter in the Fort Zeelandia complex in Paramaribo that still needed restoration. This means not only that an important historical monument from the 17th century is being preserved, but also that the Nola Hatterman Institute is getting a new lease on life. The art education institute, which has been housed in this building since 1996, plays an important role in the Surinamese cultural world.
The Nola Hatterman Institute is named after the Amsterdam artist Nola Hatterman, who founded a painting school in Suriname in 1953. The Institute has been in existence since 1985 and is run by several leading Surinamese artists, including Paul Woei and Jules Brandflu. The institute is a breeding ground for new talent. It is also a place where children can learn about visual arts. For Suriname the restoration of the seventeenth-century building, which had fallen into disrepair, has the highest priority. It is the capstone of the restoration of the Fort Zeelandia complex, which began in the seventies. The historical centre of Paramaribo, including the Fort Zeelandia complex, has been on Unesco’s World Heritage List since 2002.
HGIS’ (Homogeneous Group for International Collaboration) cultural resources are made available by the Dutch government to support its international culture policy. Along with the Dutch government, the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG), the province of North Holland and the municipality of Amsterdam also contribute to the costs, which total 252,000 euros. The Foundation for Restoration and Custom Work Amsterdam will handle the restoration in collaboration with Surinamese partners. The restoration will take approximately a year. The project is to provide work experience for students at the Surinamese Foundation for Job Opportunity and Development with the goal of improving these students’ chances in the labour market.