KUCHING: Conservation work and improvement must be done on the old Sarawak Museum before turning it into an exhibition gallery.
“It (work) must be done in order to avoid leaking problems as there are certain areas in the old building that have such a problem, and needs to be treated professionally,” said Sarawak Museum Department administrative officer Tazudin Mohtar.
“In order to start work, we need to first study and analyse the building in terms of its fabric and others, before we can repair and rebuild the damages on the building’s structure.”
He explained that every conservation process was not simple because “it has its own standards to go through”.
Tazudin represented acting director Suria Bujang in officiating at the Sarawak Old Building Conservation Workshop, which began yesterday and runs until today, at Merdeka Palace Hotel here.
A total of 52 participants from various agencies are attending.
Tazudin said the main objective of the workshop was to educate participating agencies on the conservation methods for the old Sarawak Museum, which was built during the Brooke era in 1891.
When asked for the number of old buildings in Sarawak, he said there were a lot.
“If we are talking about old historic buildings, then we have buildings such as the Post Office, the Textile Museum, the Astana building, the Islamic Heritage Museum and so on.”
He further shared that the majority of the forts in Sarawak had conservation work done on them, and they had been turned into regional museums, including Fort Lily in Betong, Fort Alice in Simanggang, Fort Emma in Kanowit, Fort Brooke in Meluan.
Tazudin hoped that through the workshop, the participants would be able to share the knowledge of conservation with their colleagues and the public.
“We have to cooperate with the public so that they are knowledgeable about how conservation towards old historical buildings should be done.
“This is because we preserve all of these buildings as a continuation of the architectural history and not just Brooke history but we learn about the buildings built during the Brooke era,” he explained.
Tazudin noted that when they worked with the community, they would tell them about the historical treasures in Sarawak and over time they would have a sense of love for them.
“This is our role as Sarawak Museum Department, entrusted with preserving the state’s treasures.”