Anti-colonialism During Suharto’s New Order Era and its Impact on Conservation of Architecture in Indonesia

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Since the New Order Era, the awareness to follow the World Conservation Charter has begun to be implemented in Indonesia. In 1970, the Indonesian government carried out the conservation of Dutch colonial areas and buildings. It was complicated because President Suharto was anti-colonial. In that year, Indonesia received a grant for the conservation of the Old City from the Netherlands. The implementation was discontinued. Then The Indonesian Government focused on the preservation of Native heritage of Indonesian Architecture through the Miniature Park of Beautiful Indonesia. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah-TMII is one manifestation of this anti-colonial spirit by simulating traditional houses from 27 provinces at that time into one thematic Park in the Eastern Part of Jakarta. Each traditional Indonesian building was modelled as per the original traditional house of a region. The Preservation method during the new order period of Suharto is unique, because there was no such preservation precedent in the world at that time. This paper examines the practice of conservation in Indonesia during New order period which embraced the paradox of anticolonialism. It ascertains how it affected the preservation and conservation programs of traditional Indonesian buildings implemented at that time. It employs literature studies about Post Colonialism in New order era, and also interview with witnesses. The findings enrich our knowledge about how conservation was implemented in Indonesia, especially within the concept of anti-colonialism in the new order Regime under Suharto leadership It concludes that preservation in Suharto era is unique, because the Dutch, relationship with Indonesia was strained. Then Suharto focused on preserving traditional architecture, but only the unique masterpieces Vernacular Architecture became replicas inside the TMII while perishing in the real world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalISVS E-journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Conservation
  • New Order Regime
  • Preservation
  • Suharto
  • Traditional Architecture


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