Building of peace

2015-10-20 06:00


Reverend Mpho Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Leah Tutu, mayor Patricia de Lille and deputy mayor Ian Neilson in front of a plaque which was unveiled at the Granary building on Wednesday. The historic building will be used as a peace cent

Reverend Mpho Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Leah Tutu, mayor Patricia de Lille and deputy mayor Ian Neilson in front of a plaque which was unveiled at the Granary building on Wednesday. The historic building will be used as a peace cent

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One of the most significant architectural landmarks in Cape Town is becoming a centre for peace in honour of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah Tutu.

The two stalwarts joined their daughter Reverend Mpho Tutu and mayor Patricia De Lille in signing a ceremonial lease to use the Granary building in Buitenkant Street as a peace centre on Wednesday last week. The event coincided with Leah’s birthday celebrations.

The City of Cape Town’s council resolved last year to lease the Granary to the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation for use as a peace centre.

The Foundation wanted the peace centre as a place where they could sustain their legacy-promoting programmes, De Lille said at the plaque unveiling event last week.

“They also wanted to consolidate the positioning of Cape Town, the home of the Arch and Mama Leah, as a world capital for the intellectual and practical pursuit of local and global peace and morality.”

The Granary is one of Cape Town’s oldest and most significant heritage buildings. The original building was constructed between 1808 and 1813 as a dwelling house and bakery. It was purchased in 1814 by the British colonial government to use as a customs house, probably because it’s close to the Castle.

In 1819, it was converted into a granary. Since then it has been a magistrates’ court, civil engineers’ offices and a post office.

“The complex of buildings on the erf are of high cultural, social, architectural and historic significance and form a part of the country’s heritage resources which should be protected and maintained for future generations,” De Lille said.

“We feel it is only fitting that the legacies of the Arch and Mama Leah should be preserved in the same way.”

The building will be refurbished from the middle of next year. This process is expected to be completed by early 2017.


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