Australia to help preserve RI culture
JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia and Australia agreed on Wednesday to cooperate inthe preservation and management of Indonesia's cultural heritage.
A cooperation agreement between the two countries was signed at the Ministry of Education and Culture in Central Jakarta by Minister Juwono Sudarsono and Australian Ambassador to Indonesia John P. McCarthy.
Juwono said the cooperation agreement was aimed mainly at preserving Indonesia's heritage through the organization of workshops, seminars and conferences here and in Australia.
""Culture and heritage is more important than education. No education could possibly be taught in an atmosphere of no culture,"" Juwono said.
Director General for Culture Edy Sedyawati said that the yearly budget for the cultural sector at the ministry comprised less than 3 percent of the ministry's entire budget.
Edy said that she could ""not remember"" the size of the ministry's budget,or that of the cultural sector alone.
""I have time and again asked for an increase to at least 12 percent. But in these circumstances in the economic crisis, I totally understand if the nation cannot afford it,"" Edy told The Jakarta Post.
""I hope that the budget will be raised gradually.""
Ambassador McCarthy said that the agreement was a pleasant change from being ""embroiled in Indonesian politics"" to having a part in the care of Indonesia's culture.
""Indonesia is a great country with a great history. We are living right now in a moment when Indonesia is making real history,"" McCarthy said. (ylt)