WORK ON MELANESIAN CULTURAL VILLAGE IN SOLOMONS BEGINS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 22, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---Work on the Melanesian Cultural Village has begun, as the Solomon Islands capital continues making preparations for July's Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival.

Village coordinator Frank Haikiu says construction of traditional houses, representative of those found in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomons, is expected to be completed in the old Cenotaph area of Honiara by mid-June.

All four of the Solomons' Melanesian neighbors have confirmed their participation in the Festival, Haikiu says, with each planning to send a contingent of about 100 dancers and artists.

The Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival will take place in Honiara at the same time the Solomon Islands celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence.

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