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Optimizing the Potential of Museums and Cultural Heritage

The Indonesian Heritage Agency was launched to maximize the economic potential of museums and cultural heritage in Indonesia.

By
TATANG MULYANA SINAGA
· 5 minutes read
The atmosphere at the Vredeburg Fort Museum in Yogyakarta, which is currently undergoing revitalization, on Saturday (April 27, 2024). The museum revitalization project managed by the Public Service Agency for Museums and Cultural Heritage or Indonesian Heritage Agency (BLU MCB/IHA) is not just a physical renovation, but also involves improving visitor services, including through educational programs.
KOMPAS/TATANG MULYANA SINAGA

The atmosphere at the Vredeburg Fort Museum in Yogyakarta, which is currently undergoing revitalization, on Saturday (April 27, 2024). The museum revitalization project managed by the Public Service Agency for Museums and Cultural Heritage or Indonesian Heritage Agency (BLU MCB/IHA) is not just a physical renovation, but also involves improving visitor services, including through educational programs.

Museums and cultural heritage in Indonesia have great economic potential, but have not been exploited optimally. A change in management paradigm is needed so that revenue does not only rely on sales of entrance tickets.

The formation of the Public Service Agency for Museums and Cultural Heritage or Indonesian Heritage Agency (BLU MCB/IHA) opens up opportunities to realize sustainable management of museums and cultural heritage. In addition to providing flexibility, business practice management is also expected to become more flexible and improve services to the community.

BLU MCB/IHA will be launched in Yogyakarta on Thursday (16/5/2024). This institution manages 18 museums and 34 national cultural heritage sites in the country.

Also read: Indonesia Fund, the Path to an Empowered Culture

Some of them are the National Museum, the Indonesian National Gallery, the Museum of Youth Pledge, the Indonesian Batik Museum, the Semedo Tegal Prehistoric Museum, and the Sangiran Prehistoric Museum. There are also National Cultural Heritage Areas (KCBN) such as Muarajambi, Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, Gunung Padang Site, Leang Timpuseng Site, and Duurstede Fort.

One corner of the room depicting <i>Homo erectus</i> while hunting at the Sangiran Museum, Kalijambe District, Sragen Regency, Central Java, October 2022.
KOMPAS/P RADITYA MAHENDRA YASA

One corner of the room depicting Homo erectus while hunting at the Sangiran Museum, Kalijambe District, Sragen Regency, Central Java, October 2022.

The Director General of Culture, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, Hilmar Farid, said that BLU MCB is a collaboration platform to optimize the potential of museums and cultural heritage sites. Cooperation with various parties, including local and private governments, is highly possible in order to achieve better museum and cultural heritage management.

"The museum needs to be seen as an institution that has educational and social functions, and even economic benefits can be gained," he said some time ago.

Hilmar stated that the establishment of BLU MCB aims to set an example of professional management with more flexible financial management. Therefore, they offer opportunities for cooperation for regional governments who wish to manage museums with the BLU scheme.

After being managed through BLU, the potential income will be greater.

The optimization of the utilization of museums and cultural heritage requires regulatory support, including the Ministry of Finance regulation regarding BLU MCB service rates. The proposed rate is based on existing regulations, such as the Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Regulation No. 28 of 2022 regarding the Organization and Work Procedures of Museums and Cultural Heritage, as well as the Minister of Finance Decision No. 318 of 2023 regarding the designation of MCB as a Government Institution that Implements BLU Financial Management Patterns.

The atmosphere at the front of the National Museum or also known as the Elephant Museum in Jakarta, Sunday (17/09/2023).
KOMPAS/PRIYOMBODO (PRI)

The atmosphere at the front of the National Museum or also known as the Elephant Museum in Jakarta, Sunday (17/09/2023).

There are various considerations in determining service rates, such as type of use, purchasing power, interest, operational needs, occupancy level, and facilities provided. The main method of formulating tariffs can be done by calculating the costs arising from providing the service.

The main service rates are in the form of entrance tickets and exhibition tickets. Ticket prices can vary, depending on the category of the museum and cultural heritage. The plan to set this tariff will apply upper and lower limits as well as categorizing visitors into children, adults, and groups.

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Also read: Refreshing the Face of Museums and Cultural Heritage

In addition to the main service tariffs, there are also supporting service tariffs such as land, building, and structure usage; equipment and machinery usage; studio usage; and collection item usage. There are also fees for performances, research, training, workshops, seminars, and consultations; expert personnel; intellectual property rights; as well as sales of by-products.

Through the optimization of museum and cultural heritage management, the revenue of the BLU MCB is projected to reach IDR 28.84 billion in 2024. Meanwhile, revenue projections for 2025 reach IDR 50.67 billion.

Clean up

Several museums and cultural heritage sites managed by BLU MCB are continuously improving. Not just building repairs, various new service programs are also designed to increase the economic benefits of their services.

For example, the Vredeburg Fortress Museum in Yogyakarta is being renovated as part of a revitalization project since early March 2024. This revitalization, which costs around Rp 50 billion, is targeted to be completed by June of this year.

Also read: Revitalization of the “Fortress of Peace” in the Conservation Corridor

The Vredeburg Fortress Museum occupies an area of around 46,000 square meters. Its location is strategic as it is situated near the zero kilometer point of Yogyakarta and Jalan Malioboro, which is a primary tourist destination. The museum houses over 7,000 historical objects.

The management of the Fort Vredeburg Museum will also optimize its function as a communal public space. To accommodate public needs, the museum will provide a children's room, a merchandise shop, a coworking space, and a cafe.

Teruna Bangsa Elementary School students answered a number of questions while visiting the Vredeburg Fair event at the Vredeburg Fort Museum, Yogyakarta, Friday (22/9/2023).
KOMPAS/FERGANATA INDRA RIATMOKO

Teruna Bangsa Elementary School students answered a number of questions while visiting the Vredeburg Fair event at the Vredeburg Fort Museum, Yogyakarta, Friday (22/9/2023).

"After being managed through BLU, the potential for revenue increases. The management paradigm has changed. In the past, we relied solely on income from admission tickets. However, now there are many potentials that can be optimized," said the Responsible Officer of the Vredeburg Fortress Museum Unit, M Rosyid Ridlo.

Rosyid stated that the number of visitors to the Vredeburg Fortress Museum in 2023 is expected to reach 512,000 people. This is an increase compared to previous years with around 400,000 visitors.

This year, the target number of visitors is set to reach 450,000 as the museum was temporarily closed from March to May for revitalization. He is optimistic that the number of visitors next year will increase to 700,000.

The development of a museum is also included in the revitalization project of the Muarajambi National Cultural Heritage Site in Muaro Jambi Regency, Jambi Province. Head of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Office (BPK) Region V Jambi, Agus Widiatmoko, stated that the museum will not only be oriented towards storing artifacts, but also empowering the local community's cultural products, such as traditional food and local handicraft products.

"This museum will be a living museum. There are artifacts that contain aspects of archaeological history, but there is also gastronomy. Then there are handicraft products that have local cultural philosophies," he said.

Previously, the Dean of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences at the University of Indonesia, Bondan Kanumoyoso, stated that the transformation of management by BLU is also expected to spread to the regions. In doing so, there will be no imbalance between museums managed by BLU MCB and those managed by regional governments.

The discussion atmosphere was limited with the theme &quot;Preserving Cultural Heritage, Reimagining Museums and Cultural Heritage in Indonesia&quot;; which was held in collaboration with daily<i>Kompas</i> and the Directorate General of Culture of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology at Kompas Tower, Jakarta, Thursday (18/4/2024).
KOMPAS/RADITYA HELABUMI

The discussion atmosphere was limited with the theme "Preserving Cultural Heritage, Reimagining Museums and Cultural Heritage in Indonesia"; which was held in collaboration with dailyKompas and the Directorate General of Culture of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology at Kompas Tower, Jakarta, Thursday (18/4/2024).

"Don't move forward alone while leaving others behind. This is certainly not desirable. At least there should be synergy. Precisely because regional museums are still asleep, please wake them up so that they are aware of the potential of museums in their respective regions," he said.

Editor:
ICHWAN SUSANTO
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