Bunker declared cultural heritage site
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The Central Java Prehistoric Legacy Conservation Center (BP3) has announced that a bunker found recently at the compound of the Dr Kariadi General Hospital in Semarang, the provincial capital, is a cultural heritage site.
An archeologist from the BP3, Muhammad Junawan, said the bunker was a legacy from the Dutch colonial era and was built around 1939-1945. “It was built during World War II, when bunker developments were common,” Junawan said in
Semarang on Friday. The bunker was discovered on June 24 by construction workers while preparing the site for development of the hospital’s waste-management system.
Mulyono, a foreman of the project, said the bunker was found accidentally when workers were using a large machine to flatten a mound for the development of the project. “It was sealed with a door that was extremely rusty,” he said.
Based on the agency’s examination, the bunker has Dutch characteristics, as it has a well-planned design. The bunker is considered neater compared to ones built by the Japanese. “A Japanese bunker is usually simpler and built by making use of natural conditions. Structural strengthening was done only as needed,” Junawan said.
Data at the BP3 Central Java shows that the bunker is 3 meters high, 4.12 meters long, 1.97 meters wide and has 42 centimeter thick walls. The door is 190 cm high and 76 cm wide. It was used as a shelter for civilians and was built around a government building and vital facilities. “The bunker is declared a cultural heritage site because it has important historical value from World War II. It deserves preservation,” Junawan said.
Head of the agency’s preservation and utilization section, Gutomo, said the next step to take after naming the bunker as a cultural heritage site would include salvage, restoration and maintenance of the bunker. He also called on the hospital to consult with the BP3 should it plan to build a facility near the bunker. “We will further study the bunker to see if it stands by itself or it has other supporting buildings,” Gutomo said.
Separately, head of the hospital’s public relations, law and marketing division, Darwito, said that the hospital was ready to help preserve the bunker.