Stop it now! - Heritage trust tells artistes to desist from defacing national properties
Spokesperson for the National Heritage Trust, Dorrick Grey, is warning recording acts to desist from using graffiti to deface the vacant Army Base at Fort Rocky in Port Royal.
Fort Rocky was constructed during World War II, and was erected as part of the effort to prevent German invasion on the island. The seaward side of the fort plays host to some huge cannons, which were capable of firing great distances. The site also carries underground rooms which appear to be cells.
Due to the classic brick infrastructure, Fort Rocky makes good scenery for music videos and films. However, according to Grey, the National Heritage Trust, which is chartered with the responsibility of preserving, promoting and protecting Jamaica's cultural heritage, will not tolerate the destruction of rare sites like Fort Rocky.
"We do not support this practice. Fort Rocky is one of the entertainment zones and we issue permits for people to do films there. I just want to advise those artistes to stop it because we are defacing a very important monument. Persons can be prosecuted if they destroy any national monument," he said.
Grey also said the trust is in the process of creating measures to eliminate these issues.
THE WEEKEND STAR visited the site and saw several huge graffiti images of names like Aidonia, Destiny Sparta, among others.
Aidonia's Trigger Work It music video also depicts images of the deejay toasting his lyrics at Fort Rocky with a huge graffiti message in the background spray-painted on a wall. The graffiti read: "4th Genna Aidonia, Trigger Work it".
The video was filmed by Cashflow's Xtreme Arts. He told THE WEEKEND STAR that neither he nor Aidonia meant any harm.
Any type of guideline
"I never know it was that type of place. I just know that videographers go there to shoot videos and take pictures. I thought it was abandoned, and a lot of artistes put graffiti there as well, it's not just us. We never felt as if we were in breach of anything because there was no security or any type of guideline. So we just went there and write our graffiti, film our video and cut. Maybe they need to put a security there then," Cashflow Xtreme said.
THE WEEKEND STAR also tried to get a comment from Aidonia's publicist, but calls to his cell phone went unanswered.
However, Destiny Sparta, who filmed her video Hot Gyal Wine at the site, said she had no idea Fort Rocky was a national property.
"I apologise. I was not aware that it was that kind of place. I respect my country, and I would never have done that," she said.