Monuments and Relics Commission issued a press release on November 11, 2023, revealing that Bunce Island, a national monument and relic site with a significant historical background, fell victim to a pirate raid on November 3, 2023. The raid resulted in the looting and vandalism of the island’s visitor center, as reported by the guards stationed at the site.

Following the distressing notification, the Pepel Police Station has taken charge of investigating the incident, aiming to apprehend those responsible for the attack on this vital piece of historical heritage. To assess the magnitude of the damage inflicted, Joseph Kaifala, Chairman of the Monuments and Relics Commission, conducted an emergency visit to Bunce Island on November 10, 2023.

The aftermath of the pirate raid not only left the visitor center in disarray but also highlighted the immediate need for cleaning, renovation, and enhanced protection before the upcoming tourist season. Bunce Island, situated about 20 miles upriver from Freetown, holds immense historical significance as one of the most lucrative slave trading posts during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, transporting tens of thousands of people to the West Indies and North America. In 1949, it was rightfully proclaimed a National Monument and Relic site, preserving the memory of a dark chapter in human history.

The Monuments and Relics Commission, facing the daunting task of restoring Bunce Island to its former glory, earnestly welcomes any support from concerned individuals or organizations willing to contribute to the cleaning, renovation, and protection efforts to ensure the preservation of this invaluable historical site.