- Space-lovers and fans of history, Antigua and Barbuda has unveiled a new exhibit at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, that celebrates the historic visit to space by Antigua and Barbuda’s Keisha Schahaff and Anastasia Mayers on August 10, 2023.
The “Antigua and Barbuda Goes to Space” exhibit, is a collaboration between the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation and Investment, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, and the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.
The unveiling was performed by Astronaut Keisha Schahaff alongside President of the Historical and Archeological Society – Museum of Antigua and Barbuda Dr. Reginald Murphy, Chairman of the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda Walter Berridge, Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism Director of Special Events, Promotion and Protocol Annette Aflak and Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Marketing Communications Manager Maria Blackman.
The guest of honour, Keisha Schahaff expressed her gratitude at being present for the reveal attended by her family, well-wishers, visitors to the museum and government officials. “I am deeply moved by the pride and humility that this moment instills in me. On August 10th, 2023, my heart swelled with pride as my daughter, and I etched our names into the pages of history. Together, we embarked on an extraordinary journey, not only for our beloved nation and the Caribbean but for the entire human spirit.
“Together, we proudly carried our national flag into space, marking a historic moment for Antigua and Barbuda as we ventured beyond our world. Our flag, symbolizing our unity, resilience, and unwavering spirit, soared above the Earth, proclaiming to the universe that our nation had arrived among the stars.
“What makes this achievement even more profound is that our flag, having ventured into space, will find its place in the museum of Antigua and Barbuda, a symbol of our resilience and the realization of our dreams. Our story will forever resonate with the boundless dreams of every dreamer and the beating hearts of every adventurer” added Schahaff.
Dr. Reginald Murphy, President of the Historical and Archeological Society – Museum of Antigua and Barbuda said, “This is a very significant event for us at the Museum. It demonstrates that we are not only about old artifacts. We are about Antigua and Barbuda culture, Antigua and Barbuda history, present and past. We pledge to look after this very valuable artifact which we have acquired.”
Additionally, Murphy encouraged people to visit the museum and be inspired by the displays. “Alongside our new space exhibit, you will see cricketer Sir Vivian Richards, rowers Team Antigua Island Girls and Team Wadadli – Atlantic Rowers – demonstrating that the tiny nation of Antigua and Barbuda is making its mark on the world stage.”
Speaking about the exhibit, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Marketing Communications Manager, Maria Blackman said, ‘The Antigua and Barbuda Goes to Space’ exhibit ensures that the tangible assets from the historic August 10th visit to space, form a permanent part of the history of Antigua and Barbuda. That day was such an incredibly powerful moment for those of us watching in Antigua, Barbuda, as well as around the world. We hope future generations who view the exhibit housed at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, will be inspired by our astronauts, and will use this moment as their personal catalyst towards achieving their dreams.”
The exhibition focuses squarely on the National flag of Antigua and Barbuda which Schahaff folded tightly and carried in the pocket of her space suit, along with two small vials of Barbuda’s pink sand. Photographs captured from the day’s historic events within the USA and at the watch party in Antigua and Barbuda, as well as video footage from the space flight also form part of the exhibit. Memorabilia from the watch party make up part of the display.
The exhibit was aptly unveiled on the eve of Antigua and Barbuda’s 42nd Anniversary of Independence held under the theme ‘Embracing the Legacy, Shaping the Future’.
The ‘Antigua and Barbuda Goes to Space’ exhibit is now open to the public.
As of November 2, 2023, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda’s opening hours will be Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. To learn more about the museum of Antigua and Barbuda go to: www.antiguamuseums.net.
About the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is a statutory body dedicated to realizing the tourism potential of Antigua and Barbuda by promoting the twin island state as a unique, quality tourist destination with the overall objective of increasing visitor arrivals thereby providing sustainable economic growth. The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is headquartered in St. John’s Antigua, where regional marketing is directed. The Authority has three offices overseas in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.
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