THE Department of Culture and Heritage will work closely with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and the Fiji Arts Council in the future to ensure close scrutiny is put on groups before they depart overseas using Fiji's name for cultural presentations.
Director of Culture and Heritage Peni Cavuilagi said the recent Miss World which featured Koini Vakaloloma as Miss Fiji had created a lot of controversy because of her choice of national costume and performance.
"We must congratulate her for representing Fiji at the world stage but her choice of costume and performance did not depict Fiji's traditional culture that we are renowned for," he said.
Mr Cavuilagi pointed the finger at Miss Fiji director Andhy Blake who had overlooked Ms Vakaloloma's outing at the pageant.
Mr Blake had defended the owl costume Ms Vakaloloma had worn as "doing things outside of the box".
"Those that were responsible were not sensitive to Fiji's traditional cultures as it was also our marketing edge at the world stage," Mr Cavuilagi said.
"Those who try to use their cultural expression through creativity at the world stage should be very careful as they might step on other people's culture. It is appropriate that they align themselves to Fiji's unique heritage."
Mr Cavuilagi said Fiji had worked hard to create a good image for itself at world expositions and other international forums.
He said stakeholders were now in talks to ensure Fiji's representation at world events did not cause negative and unnecessary controversy.
"We are working towards putting in place the necessary guidelines for close scrutiny before groups depart overseas for cultural presentations," he said.