Accepted paper:

Industrial development and heritage preservation: an impossible equation? Modern Challenges of Majapahit Museum, Trowulan, East Java


Atina Winaya (National Center for Archaeology, Indonesia)

Paper short abstract:

Trowulan, the former capital of the Kingdom Majapahit, currently suffers damages caused by the local brick-making industry. The Majapahit Museum can help building bridges between authorities and local communities by giving a voice to local histories as well as to the archaeologists' discourse.

Paper long abstract:

Majapahit is one of the biggest Kingdom in Indonesia which is based in East Java and existed between the 14th and 15th century. Trowulan, the former capital of the Kingdom Majapahit, currently suffers damages caused by the development of the local brick-making industry. This activity destroys many structures and artifacts that are still buried and that remain to be studied by archaeologists. In such a context, the Majapahit Museum in Trowulan can play a key-role in raising the awareness of local citizens and explaining them how significant the site is. The museum will be able to introduce the Majapahit Era, including its history, artifacts, structures, monuments, values, and also the importance for the Indonesian nation. However, the museum will not reach its goal if stays out of touch with the reality of the people. In order to reach local communities, the museum should not only be a place that teaches the archaeologists' point of view. It should also value the knowledge of local communities and make place for their perception of the past. If we can preserve Trowulan together, the site could also bring invaluable cultural economic benefits to local communities through the development of the tourism sector. However, in order to do so, Indonesian museum needs to change its mindset from "object oriented" into "people oriented". Therefore, there still a lot of work for the Majapahit Museum to complete. If the museum succeeded, the result will bring a big impact to the safety of Trowulan site.

panel P05
Local/global histories: the challenge of local museums