Showing posts from October, 2008

Making the Case for the Conservation and Preservation of Our Cultural Heritage

From my Salzburg network : Connecting to the World's Collections: Making the Case for the Conservation and Preservation of our Cultural Heritage 28 Oct - 01 Nov, 2009 (Session 468) Abstract:Museums and libraries - large and small - around the world house our artistic and cultural heritage. As guardians of unique and irreplaceable treasures, including art works, documents, artifacts, and digital materials, museums and libraries bear the tremendous responsibility of preserving our cultural legacy for present and future generations. Collections stewardship is central to the mission of all cultural heritage institutions, and yet resources for proper preservation and treatment are often sorely lacking, emergency plans are not always in place, and public awareness of and support for conservation is not as strong as it should be. In addition, advances in conservation research and preservation technologies are offering new solutions and strategies for addressing conservation needs. T

Mega Eltra and Beyond

Yesterday I received a request from Catrini, the Executive Director of Indonesia Heritage Trust, about slides & stories of Mega Eltra case in Medan. Earlier this year, my colleague, Sita from Yogya, has suggested me also to write an article to commemorate 5 years demolition of the building. In 2003 on behalf of Sumatra Heritage Trust, I was involved in an effort to save the Mega Eltra building from demolition done by a triangle conspiracy amongst bureaucrats, militaires and capitalists. The story went relatively dramatic and seemed to leave a mark in the Indonesian heritage network. I have to say that I didn't realised about it. My colleagues and I in the Sumatra Heritage Trust did what we supposed to do without any intention of publicity or what s o ever. If the case received a lot of publicity it was because of the scale and nature of the case itself. The fact that it was done by the perfect conspiracy we could think of in Indonesia : those who have authority to decide, tho

Only If We Could Choose

Lately I am amazed about discussions on the media related to the background of people as if we could choose where we are born, from whom and how we look like. Barack Obama is an example whom globally exposed by the media of being special because he is the first African American president candidate. Yesterday, Ahmed Aboutaleb was chosen as the new Mayor of Rotterdam. Leefbaar Rotterdam, the opposition party, was against the decision because of his Morocco background. He has been living in the Netherlands since he was 16 and openly declared his loyalty to the country through his positions in politics. So far he has a good reputation and good intentions through his efforts to integrate immigrants and marginal groups into the Dutch society. But why did some people want him to deny his Moroccan identity and background? "Send his Moroccan passport by mail back to the Moroccan King," they said. What a suggestion. Why can't people just value his capacities, his records and achiev

The Threatening Heritage

Last night I went to the "Erfgoed Arena" (erfgoed = heritage), regular discussions organized by the Reinwardt Academy and Erfgoed Nederland. The theme was the threatening heritage. It is not heritage which are threaten as generally understood but heritage which threat the identity and history of a nation (in this case the Netherlands). Rob van der Laarse from the UvA said that a heritage can threat depends on context and how we look and interpret it. He gave some examples, e.g. a statement of Princess Maxima that a Dutch identity doesn't exist (which widely quoted by everyone) or a new painting collection of the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam which represented national socialist movement in country. The other speaker was mostly talking about importance of accepting multicultural heritage in daily life, comparing his experiences in Israel (lived 12 years there) and the Netherlands. Talking about Jews, lately a researcher from UvA has exposed a house in Amsterdam which he said s

Asian Cities - Legacies of Modernity

The 7th mAAN Conference will be held in New Delhi, India, from 23rd to 25th February 2009. The mAAN-7 conference will be located at the famous India International Centre and in close proximity to the early-20th century heart of New Delhi, one of the most endangered urban heritages of the modern world. The fate of “‘Lutyens’ New Delhi” – as it is widely known, in memory of the garden city’s chief architect and author of its final plan, Edwin Lutyens – is symptomatic of the beleaguered future of other such modern cities, where the heritage precinct circumscribes a prized parcel of land, preserving the image of the modern city, but at odds with the density and social character of the contemporary. The fascinating aspect of the modern city and its tenuous existence within the contemporary metropolis is that it not only represents the spatial imagination and technology of the recent past, but is also a receptacle for polarities of privacy and publicity, of native and foreign, of order and c