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Australia-ASEAN Project to Preserve Cultural Heritage



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M t A. A U ST R A L IA ^

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HON ALEXANDER DOWNER MP, AND THE MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS, THE INFORMATION ECONOMY AND THE ARTS, SENATOR THE HON RICHARD ALSTON

FA 103 ' . 28 July 1998;.

Australia-ASEAN Project To Preserve Cultural Heritage

Australia's business and cultural standing in South East Asia is about to receive an historic boost through a joint project with a key agency of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

AusHeritage, Australia's national network of cultural heritage services, is to work with the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information to develop joint policies and strategies aimed at conserving and protecting key heritage sites and cultural assets throughout the region.

It will be the first time governments in the region have approved a regional approach to heritage and cultural issues.

Within the ambit of the project will be the performing arts, archival services and programs, building restoration, library development, heritage and conservation management, and the application of modem technologies in the conservation of buildings and the protection of heritage materials.

The project's first 12 months will involve the identification of heritage, conservation and cultural areas, assets and issues in each of ASEAN's nine member countries.

Detailed documentation will then be produced setting out strategies and implementation programs.

‘The project constitutes the kind of dynamic cross-regional cultural and technical cooperation that can add significant substance to Australia's on-going partnership with ASEAN nations,’ Mr Downer said.

‘Its principal objective is to develop policies and procedures by which the unique and dynamic cultures of the region maintain their strengths and appeal both regionally and globally to present and future generations.

‘The project will also highlight Australia's capacity to provide high quality goods and services in the cultural, conservation, heritage and information fields.’

Senator Alston said the agreement will enable Australia's arts and heritage achievements to be showcased throughout the region, opening up substantial commercial opportunities for Australian companies and AusHeritage members.

Funding for the first stage will be provided by ASEAN, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and AusHeritage. The total cost will be US$142,000 with 45 per cent provided by ASEAN.

AusHeritage was formed in 1996 and its members include the national collection institutions, six universities, major architectural and conservation agencies and companies working in Australia and in the region.

Media contact: Terry O'Connor, Senator Alston's office 0419 636 879 Tony Melville, Department o f Foreign Affairs and Trade, 02-6261 Ί555 ■ . Penny Ramsay, AusHeritage 0419 832 376