Sat, 05 Feb 2000

Historical building saved from damage: Officials

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration instructed on Friday owner of the historical Supreme Court building on Jl. Lapangan Banteng Timur in Central Jakarta to temporarily stop construction activities at the back of the building due to damages which the protect building has sustained there, an official said.

Chairman of the city's team on restoration council Wisnu Murti Ardjo said the letter, signed by city secretary Fauzi Bowo, was sent on Friday to the budget directorate of the Ministry of Finance, the owner of the building.

"It's late already, but at least the building can be saved from further damages," Wisnu said.

He said the recommendation to halt the construction activities at the rear of the 172-year-old building was submitted to the city museum and restoration agency after the team's evaluation meeting in December last year.

"The city museum and restoration agency conveyed the message to the development control agency, but it was likely discarded," he said.

However, he dismissed speculation that there had been lack of coordination between the museum and restoration agency and the development control agency.

The construction at the rear part of the old Supreme Court building has damaged several parts of the protected building, a violation to 1992 Law No. 5 on City Heritage, which carries a maximum 10 years in jail or a Rp 100 million (US$14,285.7) penalty.

The back part of the building was demolished to make way for trucks transporting building materials for construction of a four-story building.

Chief of the new building project Dez Rizal, who is also head of the budget directorate's supplies division, could not be reached for confirmation on Friday as he was still in Padang, West Sumatra, according to his subordinate.

Member of the restoration team Arya Abieta said on Thursday that the building owner had promised to stop the construction work, but it continued as of Friday.

Head of program division of the museum and restoration agency Indro Kusumo said that the building owner did not consult with the administration when the construction project started last year. (ida)