Banda Naira: The Banda Islands, Central Maluku district, Maluku province, have the potential to gain the cultural heritage area status, director-general of culture at the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry, Hilmar Farid, has said.
"For a long time, we have planned to make Banda Islands as a cultural heritage area, not only because there are many historical buildings, but also because of its important presence in the history of our nation," he informed here on Tuesday.
The Banda Islands should get a cultural heritage tag since there are many extraordinary historical relics from both colonial and pre-colonial eras in the area, he noted.
Hence, the government has continued to build collaboration with various stakeholders, especially the owners of historical sites, since some of them belong to the government of the Central Maluku district, while the other sites are still owned by the Banda Heritage and Cultural Foundation, he said.
"There are also historical sites which are occupied by residents. They are all stakeholders that we must talk with about the plan to make the whole Banda Islands a cultural heritage area," he added.
The director-general said that the central government has been conducting discussions for a long time, especially with communities who have continued to propose Banda Islands as a world cultural heritage to UNESCO.
For instance, the State Secretariat Ministry has held discussions with the Central Maluku district government and the Maluku provincial government on making the Mini Palace, formerly the office of the VOC Governor of Banda Islands, into a presidential palace for the Eastern region of Indonesia, he added.
The Public Works and Public Housing Ministry will renovate the historic building, supervised by an agency that focuses on preserving cultural values so that the important parts of the building can be preserved.
"For instance, the stone floor of the palace is very old, aged more than four centuries old. Although it is not quite smooth, however, I think it should not be removed since it is a part of the palace’s historical aspects, which need to be preserved," Farid added.
He said he expects the various plans and attempts to preserve Banda Islands as a cultural heritage to run smoothly since it is an important part of the history of the Indonesian people and their future.