文化遺産国際協力コンソーシアム Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage JCIC-Heritage logo JCIC-Heritage

Cooperation Project for the Conservation of Traditional Wooden Buildings in Indonesia under the Cooperation Project for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties and Buildings in the Asia-Pacific Region

Cooperation Project for the Conservation of Traditional Wooden Buildings in Indonesia under the Cooperation Project for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties and Buildings in the Asia-Pacific Region

Agency for Cultural Affairs

Indonesia

The old royal palace in Sumbawa

1995-2008 Human Resource Development,Conservation and Restoration
01/03/2010
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BACKGROUND

Wooden Buildings in Indonesia

Historical buildings in Indonesia, represented by the Borobudur and Prambanan Temple Compounds which have been inscribed on the World Heritage List, are well known for their stone and brick masonry structure. However, there still exist numerous historical wooden buildings throughout the vast land composed of countless islands. In fact, Indonesia’s diverse and multilayered historical culture is well symbolized by a wide range of buildings, including Islamic mosques that have been constructed throughout the country, the many royal palaces that have served as the center of city-states in modern history, and residential architectures that have developed independently according to each ethnic group.

Crises Confronting Wooden Buildings in Indonesia

Indonesia’s historical buildings indeed bespeak a rich cultural diversity, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to conserve the wooden buildings in particular, due to development initiatives driven by recent economic growth in the country. Moreover, Indonesia is not only an earthquake country like Japan, but it is also subject to hot and rainy weather conditions and suffers extensive biological damage from termite and other insect pests. Therefore, the conservation environment of wooden buildings in Indonesia is much severer than in Japan.
In light of these circumstances, the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs is cooperating with the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism in implementing a cooperation project for the conservation of traditional buildings and settlements as part of the effort to conserve wooden buildings in Indonesia.

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ACTIVITIES

Implemented Surveys and Overview of the Restoration Project Begun in Sumbawa

The cooperation project that is being implemented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs is centered on two pillars—technical cooperation and human resource development—for the conservation and restoration of wooden buildings.
Firstly, in order to select a specific candidate restoration site, the Agency and the Indonesian counterpart conducted a joint survey on the locations and preservation conditions of wooden building and other traditional buildings, as well as historical towns, in Sumatra,Sulawesi and other island in Indonesia. Additionally, based on the awareness that Indonesia and Japan have a different historical background concerning the conservation of wooden buildings, the Agency is also engaging in activities aimed at deepening mutual understanding, such as by holding local workshops on the conservation and restoration of wooden buildings, and inviting officers in charge of cultural property restoration in Indonesia to Japan to exchange views on survey methods for wooden buildings, principles regarding their restoration, and practical restoration methods.

Survey and Restoration of the Old Royal Palace in Sumbawa

Technical cooperation for the restoration of the old royal palace in Sumbawa is presently underway, based on a memorandum of understanding concerning exchange programs signed in 2001. The palace was originally built in the 19th century, and is a large wooden structure that is 23m wide and 31m deep. Today, it is being used as a regency-owned museum.
The Japanese side suggested a basic plan for the restoration of the old royal palace in 2002, and based on the plan, the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism commenced the restoration project in 2004.
After the launch of the project, the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Japanese Association for Conservation of Architectural Monuments have sent personnel to Sumbawa to provide onsite technical cooperation. In 2006, Japanese members participated in a technical training program held at a local restoration site for the conservation and restoration of wooden architectures in Sumbawa, and cooperated in promoting human resource development activities in Indonesia.

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Training in ant repellant resin treatment using a wooden gravestone

RESULTS

Progress and Issues in the Restoration of the Old Royal Palace in Sumbawa

The restoration of the old royal palace in Sumbawa is still ongoing. As of October 2009, the roof shingles are being replaced, toward completion at the end of this fiscal year. Long pillars and beams compose the majestic frame of the building, and elaborate carvings decorate the beams and eaves and give the building an air of dignity befitting a royal palace. Restoring such a special wooden building in proper manner requires quality wood and other restoration and temporary construction materials, as well as access to the necessary equipment and skilled engineers. However, on a remote island like Sumbawa, more expenses and time than expected are being spent on these resources, and are more than slightly impacting the entire project.
Not only for the restoration of the old royal palace in Sumbawa, but also for the safe and systematic conservation and restoration of other historical buildings in the future, efforts need to be made to secure the necessary materials and human resources in a stable manner.

Repair of the roof truss

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