Mr. Maulana Ibrahim, expert from Ternate Island, during his presentation at the expert meeting

Indonesia: New masterplan for the redevelopment of Fort Oranje in Ternate

Participants of a Dutch-Indonesian expert meeting on 28 May took the first step in drafting a masterplan for the redevelopment of Fort Oranje, Ternate Island.

In 2017 a masterplan will be drafted for the redevelopment of Fort Oranje, a former Dutch fortress on Ternate Island (Indonesia), which is to be implemented by the end of 2018. This was announced during a Dutch-Indonesian expert meeting on 28 May.

The announced masterplan is the main result of the visitors’ programme and expert meeting 27 to 29 May that was facilitated by the Shared Cultural Heritage programme for a delegation from Indonesia. To achieve an integrated approach in the masterplan, the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture aims to work in close cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Pusat Dokumentasi Arsitektur, the local authorities in Ternate and experts from the Netherlands.

Fort Oranje is located on the island of Ternate, one of ‘Spice Islands’ in the Maluku Archipelago. It was renovated in 2015 by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing but is currently not yet in use. Due to the shared history between Indonesia and the Netherlands, the Indonesian partners have reached out to Dutch experts for inspiration regarding the fort’s repurposing as a museum and to learn from their experiences.

During the expert meeting hosted by the Indonesian embassy in The Hague, several Dutch experts met with the delegation to learn from their experiences and challenges regarding the future redevelopment of Fort Oranje. The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, emphasised the importance of conserving such valuable shared heritage sites for the future, as they are rich depositories of meaning and wisdom that must be passed on to the next generations and yet are in need of proper redevelopment. In response, the experts jointly drew up a first draft for a plan of action, which will not only benefit Fort Oranje, but also some 60 other potential forts in Indonesia. The main topics of discussion were cultural entrepreneurship, funding methods and finding a balance between the authenticity of a historic fortification and its new usage.

The delegation visited a number of forts of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (New Dutch Water Line of Defence) and the Defence Line of Amsterdam, primarily to see examples of redeveloped forts such as Fort bij Vechten (now Waterliniemuseum), Fort bij de Nieuwe Steeg (now GeoFort), Fort aan de Nekkerweg (now Fort Resort Beemster) and Fort Island Pampus (now Pampus Xperience).

The delegation consisted of Mr. Harry Widianto (director of Culture and Museums at the Ministry of Education and Culture), Ms. Latifah Sumandari and Mr. Tommy Wahyono (staff members at the Sub-directorate of Special Buildings and Neighbourhood Development at the Ministry of Public Works and Housing), Ms. Nadia Purwestri (executive director at Pusat Dokumentasi Arsitektur), Mr. Maulana Ibrahim (lecturer at Universitas Khairun in Ternate and director of the Ternate Heritage Society) and. Dr. Nasir Tamara (consultant, journalist and academic).