The Jakarta Post
The Education and Culture Ministry has declared Kota Semarang Lama (Semarang Old Town) in Central Java a national cultural heritage site.
Semarang Deputy Mayor Hevearita Gunaryanti Rahayo, who is also the chairman of the Semarang Old Town Management Board, confirmed the news as reported by kompas.com. She said the declaration was stipulated in an Education and Culture Ministerial Decree signed on Aug. 12 by Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim.
Hevearita said the board had advocated the area to be included as a cultural heritage since 2017. The effort was part of a plan to submit the Semarang Old Town into the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
“However, when we were preparing for the submission, we found that there was no decree declaring the Old Town area a national cultural heritage site, not even at the provincial level,” Hevearita said as quoted by kompas.com.
Following several discussions with the national cultural heritage team, the city administration selected four areas to be included in the larger area of Semarang Old Town as the proposal for the UNESCO World Heritage List
The four areas — Kampung Kauman, Kampung Melayu, Chinese Village and Old Town (Oudestad) — represent the historical period of the development of the Central Java provincial capital, which goes back to the ninth century.
The deputy mayor went on to say that development in the old town area should follow the regulations on cultural heritage sites.
“There shouldn’t be any major changes in the area’s exterior design. However, the interior can be modified as done in the Old Town area.”
The city administration is working on a masterplan regarding the heritage site's development, which she hopes will improve the local economy. (dpk)