Bylaw on culture heritage preservation proposed

by Ni Komang Erviani on 2014-06-10

Governor Made Mangku Pastika handed over a proposal for a new bylaw on cultural heritage preservation to the legislative council during its plenary session Monday morning.

“Law no. 32/2004 on regional administrations stipulates that cultural heritage preservation is part of socio-cultural preservation. Therefore, a bylaw on Balinese cultural heritage preservation is needed,” Pastika said.

The bylaw could become a powerful legal tool to enforce programs related to cultural preservation, which encompass protection, management and development.

“Based on the 1945 Constitution, the central, provincial and regional administration are required to support culture to enhance prosperity,” the governor said.

Balinese culture has its roots in Hindu beliefs. “Our cultural heritage must be preserved and developed for the interest of our future generations,” he said.

Preserving and managing culture, Pastika went on, has always been a challenge.

“We must all have a similar understanding of what constitutes ‘cultural heritage’ and how we manage and preserve it.”

Much of Balinese tangible heritage is not recorded. “We are now facing serious crimes regarding the theft of sacred arts taken from major temples across the island.”

The bylaw, the governor also said, was also needed to protect subak, the traditional Balinese farming system, which UNESCO included in its World Heritage Site list in June 2012, during the organization’s annual meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Subak reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana, which brings together the spirit, the human world and nature.

Also acknowledged by UNESCO are the 18th-century royal temple of Taman Ayun in Badung; the Batukaru mountain reserve in Tabanan; the Pakerisan watershed in Gianyar; and Lake Batur in Bangli.

UNESCO has frequently reminded Bali of the importance of preserving subak and has questioned its programs since the UN agency had declared its status.

Bali Culture Agency head, Ketut Suastika, told Bali Daily that the draft bylaw on Balinese culture heritage preservation would include subak. However, the bylaw would also protect dance, tradition and art.

“Our priority, once the bylaw has been enacted, is to record tangible and intangible cultural artifacts and heritage. Then, we will focus on how to protect it,” he said.

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