12.11.2013 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

UNESCO Participants in the 6th International Experts Meeting on Borobudur, held from 10-14 November 2013, Central Java, Indonesia

UNESCO has participated in the 6th International Experts Meeting which was organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture from the 10 to 14 November, 2013 at the Atria Hotel in Magelang regency, Central Java, Indonesia. The Seminar brought together over 100 academics, international and national cultural heritage professionals, government officials, and NGO staff, national and international students to address conservation challenges facing the Temple and discuss possible solutions to these challenges.

The first key note speech was delivered by Dr. Marsis Sutopo, Head of the Conservation Office Borobudur (BCO), from the Ministry of Education and Culture, who focused on the historical account of the Borobudur temple and BCO’s conservation work for the safeguarding of the Temple. The second key note speech was delivered by Mr. Masanori Nagaoka, Head of Culture unit of the UNESCO Office in Jakarta, who clarified UNESCO’s assistance to the Indonesian authorities in ameliorating the state of conservation of the Borobudur Temple, which has been supported financially by the Government of Germany since 2011. Mr. Nagaoka further addressed the issues of the roles of culture, not only in sustainable development, but also for creating peace and understanding. The third remarks were delivered by Prof. Kacung Marijan, Director General for Culture of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, who spoke of the importance of cooperation between international and national experts conserving cultural heritage in Indonesia.

After the opening session, the first day of the International Meeting featured a number of presentations focusing on ways to safeguard the Borobudur Temple and addressed the issues of scientific conservation of the Borobudur stones, structural stability of the Temple, and environmental threats toward the Temple.The second and third day of the International Meeting featured a discussion on the relationship between the monuments and Java community, the Temple as a means for educating the community, preservation of cultural landscape at Borobudur, and management of the Borobudur World Heritage site.  

On the second day of the meeting, Mr. Nagaoka presented a paper entitled ‘Borobudur Temple as a Means in Educating the Community: UNESCO’s Activities at the Borobudur Temple Compounds’. Mr. Nagaoka’s presentation focused upon UNESCO’s project at Borobudur for the education programme and the revitalization of Community Livelihoods through Creative Industries and heritage tourism in the wider context of UNESCO’s support of World Heritage for sustainable development. Mr. Nagaoka outlined that the project, funded by Government of Australia through AusAID, is to support the development of community livelihoods through the promotion of sustainable heritage tourism and the enhancement of creative industries. This will be achieved by supporting the creation of innovative and unique products based on Borobudur's rich history, character and cultural and natural resources; building on local knowledge and skill and provide opportunities for the people of Borobudur, especially women and youth, and enhance capacity for innovative product creation; and establishing a gallery as a place for local people to interact with tourists and as a focal point for the development of creative economy through locally made products.

Participants were actively engaged in the discussion where they had the opportunity to give input and share their thoughts on the main issues and challenges the Borobudur Temple Compounds and their surroundings face. The results of this discussion were formulated in to a Joint Recommendation and presented to the Indonesian authorities.

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