Durbanville National Monument Restored
The Rust-en-Vrede Art Gallery & Clay Museum reopened after a two-year renovation project by the City of Cape Town.
‘Rust-en-Vrede in Durbanville is the oldest surviving non-religious building in the area, having been built around 1810. As such, it required that any work be done by a specialist team. The work had to be approved by Heritage Western Cape (HWC) and required a permit. A prerequisite from HWC was that there be a heritage practitioner on site to oversee the work, while the City’s Environmental and Heritage Department also assisted in this process. The result is a grand old lady who can stand another few centuries,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.
The near R3 million restoration project included the following:
• the exterior of the building was repaired and lime washed
• the roof was repaired (some parts were replaced)
• joinery and other structural repairs
Since 1984, the building has been used as a cultural centre to promote the arts and is currently being used as a museum, gallery, restaurant and as art studios.
‘Rust-en-Vrede is a National Monument and it is only prudent that we preserve our heritage for future generations. It is in the public interest that we preserve irreplaceable parts of our heritage so that its legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic and economic benefits will be there for future generations,’ said Councillor Badroodien.
The Rust-en-Vrede gallery showcases works of art by established and emerging artists, while the museum contains an exclusive, mainly contemporary, collection of South African ceramics.
Durbanville has a history of some of the best clay quarries and brickfields in the province and it was this aspect of the town’s history that inspired the foundation of a Clay Museum, the first of its kind in South Africa.
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