Promoting Intercultural Dialogue through Capacity Building Training for Museum Development at UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia and Afghanistan

Project Duration and Location

The project duration is from September 2014 – June 2017, with location as follows :

  • Indonesia (Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Borobudur, Denpasar, Surabaya)
  • Afghanistan (Kabul and Bamiyan)

Project Description

The initiative for this project has grown from the close cooperation between Indonesia and Afghanistan that has developed in the reconstruction of the country after the fall of the Taliban regime. Indonesia has already supported the Afghan government in a number of key areas including in peace-building efforts, providing scholarships for Afghan students, as well as providing training in farming, health, waste management, and disaster awareness training.

At the 2011 Bali Democracy Forum the then President of Indonesia, H.E Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the then President of Afghanistan, HE. Hamid Karzai, held talks on increased cultural cooperation. This cooperation was formalised on the 9th of November 2012 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the countries respective Ministries of Culture.

Within the framework of the Indonesian UNESCO Funds-in- Trust, the Government of Indonesia requested the partnership of UNESCO to further develop this close collaboration between the two countries in accordance with UNESCO’s mandate to promote the building of international peace and cooperation through mutual understanding and in accordance with UNESCO’s expertise in the safeguarding of cultural heritage and museums.

In this regard, the UNESCO Jakarta and Kabul Offices conducted a detailed needs assessment involving key meetings with responsible officials in Afghanistan and Indonesia. One of the key areas of need identified was that of museums capacity training, especially around World Heritage sites.

Project Objectives

To support peace reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan through strengthening capacity in World Heritage interpretation and museums management, whilst supporting cross cultural dialogue between Indonesian and Afghanistan through south-south cooperation in the field of culture.

Project Timelines

  • To support peace reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan through strengthening capacity in World Heritage interpretation and museums management, whilst supporting cross cultural dialogue between Indonesian and Afghanistan through south-south cooperation in the field of culture.
  • Museum Interpretation and Cultural Heritage Management for participants from Indonesia, Yogyakarta, 18 to 23 October 2015
  • Museum Interpretation and Cultural Heritage Management for participants from Afghanistan, Borobudur, 10 to 15 November 2015
  • In-depth training on Museum Interpretation and Exhibition Development, Bali and Jakarta, 15-28 November 2015
    National Workshop on Museum Curatorship: Understanding the Role of Curator in the Modern Era, Surabaya, 27 to 31 May 2016
  • Sub-regional Workshop on Museums Management in the context of the Prevention of the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Material in Asia, Jakarta, 11-12 August 2016
  • Series of exhibition “Crossroad of Cultures: Bamiyan and Borobudur”, November 2016 – February 2017
  • National Museum of Afghanistan, Kabul, 2 November – 31 December 2016
  • National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, 8-28 December 2017
  • Galeria Mall, Yogyakarta, 10-15 January 2017
  • Karmawibhangga Museum, Borobudur, 20 January – 2 February 2017
  • Promoting the Borobudur World Heritage site through revitalizing the exhibition/display of the Karmawibhangga Site Museum in Borobudur. This work is currently underway.

Project Results

A key preliminary result of this project is the close cooperation that is being strengthened among the respective Ministries of Culture, National Museums and World Cultural Heritage sites in Indonesia and Afghanistan, and UNESCO

Success Story

The exhibition “Crossroad of Cultures: Bamiyan and Borobudur” and the side events in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Borobudur attracted a large number of visitors and participants, increasing the project visibility.