The Jakarta Post, Surakarta , Fri January 25 2013,
The Surakarta city administration will build a national kris museum this year to create another cultural icon for the city in addition to batik and the traditional Javanese dance drama group Wayang Orang Sriwedari.
Surakarta Tourism and Culture Agency head Widdy Srihanto said that the museum plan had been there since 2005, after UNESCO recognized kris on its world heritage list.
“Solo [the city’s popular name] has enough materials [to build a kris museum] ranging from kris artisans and a kris community to Surakarta Palace, which has rare kris collections. What we need is coordination,” Widdy said on Saturday.
The kris is part of the city’s cultural legacy and is still used in cultural events and rituals.
Widdy said the museum would be built in synergy with the Bhayangkara green zone corridor that is located in the Sriwedari compound. The museum will be located in the same area as the former mental hospital, which is located on the same road as the historical R. Maladi Stadium.
With input from the Education and Culture Ministry, the museum will use the concept of a national kris museum that — in term of collections — will also include other types of traditional weapons from other regions across the country.
In terms of building concept, it will follow the ministry’s proposal to construct the building in harmony with the former mental hospital, that was built in 1918 during the rule of Pakubuwono X and has been registered as a cultural heritage site.
The museum, according to Widdy, will also include a kris making training center that will introduce raw materials in kris making to the public.
“We want to build interest among younger generations in the kris, so that they will also be motivated to preserve the tradition,” said Widdy, adding that preservation would also include planting trees, the wood of which was used in kris making, such as teakwood.
Separately, Surakarta City Planning Agency head Ahyani said that due to a limited approved budget, the city administration would be forced to make some adjustments. The building initially was designed with a budget of Rp 35 billion (US$3.58 million). However, the approved budget was only Rp 10 billion, which will be taken from the state budget.
“I don’t know why the approved budget is only Rp 10 billion. We have to redesign it,” said Ahyani.
Four sections are planned for the museum: a display room, a library, a meeting room and a workshop. Any changes in the design will be consulted on first with the ministry by the end of this month.
Widdy expressed hope that the change would not affect on the functions of the rooms as initially designed.
(Pity that I am too rickety to travel long distance, other-wise I would love to see the keris colections, I have several, four of which are pusaka and between three to fourhundred years old! Sorry, I am not skiting here h`e. siK.)