The City of Cape Town says it is set to reopen the Rust-en-Vrede Art Gallery & Clay Museum this week after a nearly R3 million two-year renovation project.
Rust-en-Vrede is the oldest surviving non-religious building in Durbanville, 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,” City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien said in a statement on Friday.
Badroodien said the result was “a grand old lady who can stand another few centuries”.
Under the restoration project, the exterior of the building was repaired and lime-washed, the roof was repaired, while some parts were replaced. There were also 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 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.