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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Mar. 24) – Papua New Guinea is sending a 120-member contingent to the ninth Festival of Pacific Arts in Palau in July.

The group will include traditional dancers, theatre artists, musicians, individual artists, exhibitors and officials who will be joining other Pacific Islanders from 27 island nations for the festival.

PNG’s participation in the event was officially launched in Port Moresby on Friday.

Among the guests at the launch were the Japanese Ambassador, Katsuo Yamashita, National Museum director Soroi Eoe, Central province governor Alphonse Moroi and officials from the public and private sectors.

The festival will be held in Palau from July 22 to July 31.

PNG Organizing Committee chairman Dr Jacob Simet said that coming from cultural backgrounds which are still very much intact, vibrant and with a high degree of diversity, it is very easy for Papua New Guineans to take what they have for granted.

"Participating at this festival gives us the chance to see what our Pacific neighbors have but also what we have," said Dr Simet.

A total of K110, 362 was raised during the night from corporate sponsors and donations from various organizations and individuals. 

The highest pledge of K36 363 was made by the Central provincial government while other contributions came from Wari Vele Agencies K5,000, Tourism Promotion Authority K5,000, National Museum K5,000 while Culture and Tourism Ministry first secretary Wilson Thompson pledged K15,000.

March 24, 2004

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