FRENCH POLYNESIA CELEBRATES NATIONAL HERITAGE DAY

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (February 26, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia celebrated its second National Heritage Day over the weekend, the daily newspaper La Dépêche de Tahiti reports.

Speaking at a Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands (near the capital Pape‘ete) ceremony on Friday, local culture minister Louise Peltzer said this year's theme is "Children and Their Cultural Heritage."

"It is important that children be made more aware of their cultural values, so they can fully understand their meaning."

Last year, the first Heritage Day was a success, with some 40,000 members of the general public taking advantage of free entrance to the museum to re-discover their cultural values, Pelzter said.

She said efforts are being made to better preserve the cultural artifacts.

"This (cultural) heritage is our common property. It represents something rich that we have to share. We inherited it from our ancestors and now, we'll have to pass it onto our children."

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