In light of mounting controversy over the announcement to relocate the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, Government has since put the move on hold.This was disclosed by Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnarine on Wednesday. The Minister was at the time engaging indigenous leaders at the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference, which is being held at the Arthur Chung International Convention Centre, and was questioned about the relocation of the museum.The current location of the Walter Roth MuseumTwo weeks ago, Guyana Times broke the news of plans afoot to relocate the museum, which was subsequently confirmed by the Ministry of the Presidency, which said it would be moving the museum and its employees to the National Museum by the end of the year. The relocation was to facilitate the housing of a department of the Ministry at the Museum’s current Main Street location.This decision did not sit well with various sections of Guyanese society as criticisms mounted against Government for not holding any consultations on its decision to relocate the museum, which is the oldest museum of anthropology in the English-speaking Caribbean.However, Dr Roopnarine on Wednesday gave assurance that no decisions will be made to move the historical museum until consultations were held with museum staff and stakeholders, including the leaders of the 212 indigenous villages.“What I have done is I have asked the President (David Granger) to put the question of the movement of the Walter Roth Museum on hold until I have had an opportunity to discuss the matter more thoroughly with the people, the anthropologists, the Toshaos and so on,” Minister Roopnaraine informed the gathering at the Convention Centre.This announcement was met with resounding applause from the indigenous leaders. The Minister further indicated to the indigenous leaders that the matter was one that was at the heart of his very own family.During the engagement on the third day of the NTC, Toshao of Maruranau Village in Region Nine, Patrick Gomes decried the Government’s decision to move the museum, on the grounds that the artefacts contained within were those discovered several hundred years ago and many may not survive relocation.Gomes called on all the indigenous leaders present at the NTC to make a recommendation to the Government that the museum remains at its present site, “because we do not want to lose our heritage and our connection to the past”.He added that the indigenous people needed to “have that connection to the past, to know where we came from, where we are going and what we have”.The Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology contains a wealth of historic information and artefacts about the Amerindian people with the aim of keeping the legacy of Guyana’s first people alive.The museum was founded with the collections of Guyanese archaeologist, Dr Denis Williams and in 1980, the ethnographic collections of Dr Walter Roth, Mr J J Quelch and Sir Everardim Thurn were transferred to the museum from the National Museum. The museum’s collections also include dug-up artefacts from all 10 administrative regions.In addition to condemnation from the likes of former Ministers of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony and Gail Teixeira among others, there has been an online petition to stop the relocation of the historical facility with over 500 signatures gathered.