Mon, 15 May 2000

Portuguese experts are here

JAKARTA (JP): A group of Portuguese experts arrived here on Friday to help preserve Portuguese heritage in the country, an executive said on Saturday.

Joao Pedro Garcia, director of the international department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation which focuses on preserving Portuguese heritage worldwide, said the group of three experts would be in Indonesia for one week.

"It's an initial step that we just visit all heritage sites here," Garcia said after a discussion with city officials represented by, among others, head of the Jakarta Historical Museum Tinia Budiati and head of the Textile Museum Dewi Rudiati.

During their visit, the group, which includes architect Joao Campos and adviser of the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon Maria Helena, Mendes Pinto, will visit Jepara in Central Java, Yogyakarta and Flores island in East Nusa Tenggara.

Garcia said he had yet to decide on the next step to be taken after the first visit.

In a move to improve Portuguese-Indonesian relations, Portuguese Ambassador Ana Gomes said last month that her government would assist with the preservation of its colonial heritage here.

However, information on the number of Portuguese heritage sites has been unavailable up to Saturday. (ind)