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Interpreting Heritage

balidiscovery.com's J.M. Daniels Speaks at Major Heritage Conference.

(8/26/2002) balidiscovery.com's President Director, J.M. Daniels was among the speakers invited to participate in an important cultural seminar held in Bandung, West Java, August 19-20, 2002.

HERITAGE INTERPRETATION: Illuminating Our Past and Our Future included among its participants museum operators, heritage enthusiasts, scholars, and members of the tourism community and was held at the historic campus of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in Bandung.

Sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism for West Java and the Center for Tourism Studies at ITB, the seminar's aim was to make the managers of museums and historical sites, together with members of the nation's tourism industry, more aware of the importance of interpretation in the day-to-day management of heritage sites.

Speaking on the topic of Merchandising our Heritage, Bali Discovery's co-founder told the group that museums and heritage sites "are where we store and preserve the stories we wish to pass on to our children and share with our visitors. Our museums and how we manage and present them, and the degree to which they are cherished by visitors and their own citizens, speak to how a country values its past history and the shared faith people have in their collective futures."

Using the Bali Museum as the organizing point for his comments, Daniels said that recent changes in government policy with increased autonomy for provincial governments meant that now was the time for the control and management of the Bali Museum to reside with the people of Bali. The current museum, according to Daniels, falls sadly short in its mission to effectively communicate the rich cultural and historical legacy of the people of Bali.

Urging that Bali Museum be reorganized under a Board of Trustees comprised of leading local community members, he called for an ambitious rebuilding and renovation program for the museum, funded by the Community, that would result in a new facility popular with locals and visitors alike. He further suggested that an expanded museum could accommodate live performances reflecting the role of dance and drama in Balinese life, provide space for visiting exhibits, and even have conference and entertainment areas to facilitate the growing conference and meeting market.