The Surakarta municipality in Central Java will start preserving 70 cultural heritage sites consisting of historical buildings and other sites in the city next September.
The preservation drive, which is in line with Surakarta Mayor Decree No. 646/1997 on the preservation of old buildings and historical areas protected by Law No. 5/1992 on cultural heritage, will start with putting plaques on each of the cultural heritage sites.
The labeling of the heritage sites would be carried out by a team of cultural heritage experts, in cooperation with representatives from the Surakarta municipality as the owner of the sites, Surakarta municipality’s spatial planning agency chairperson Endah Sitoresmi said on Tuesday.
The labeling of the sites would cost approximately Rp 230 million (US$24,380), of which a portion will be spent on buying 32 plaques made of copper, 32 of stone and the rest in the form of monuments, Endah said.
“Principally, they [the plaques and monuments] will be put in strategic places easily seen by the public in line with their function as part of the city’s identity and for educational purposes,” Rudi Subanindro, head of the labeling team, said.
Cultural heritage sites to have plaques made of copper will be Radya Pustaka Museum, Bank Indonesia building and Loji Gandrung. Sites with plaques made of marble will be Pura Mangkunegaran, while other sites will be given monuments.
Surakarta municipality secretary Budi Suharto urged the labeling team to disseminate its plan to the owners of the heritages.
Providing plaques would not protect and preserve the cultural heritage sites, as sustainability of the sites was decided by the way the owners maintain them, Budi said.
“Reading the plaques and realizing they are cultural heritage sites has to be followed by action,” Budi said, adding that action could be taken by the owners.
The labeling itself must also be followed by dissemination of information regarding the importance of the preservation of the sites, he said.
Caretaker of Al Wustho mosque in the Pura Mangkunegaran complex, Syaiful Syahri, shared Budi’s remarks, saying he was frequently confused whenever there was any damage to the mosque.
The confusion was caused over whether the caretaker was responsible for repairing the damage himself or whether he had to ask for permission, resulting in delayed repairs.
“The more confusing thing is that we don’t know the extent of the repairs needed,” Syaiful said. (Jakarta Post)