Group to set up special Asian Heritage Museum

KUALA LUMPUR: With support from two ministries, a Kuala Lumpur-based group is formalising efforts to set up the innovative Asian Heritage Museum. It intends to start with 1,000 pieces of historical and geological artifacts, with several pieces going as far back as 5,000 years.

The group intends to apply multimedia, animation and live exhibitions to promote the varied aspects of Asian cultural heritage.

The group, which prefers to remain anonymous for now but is endorsed by distinguished and highly respected personalities, has secured the services of British museum and research experts, who visited Kuala Lumpur last month to verify the artifacts as authentic and historical.

Besides housing the artifacts and using them to link Southeast Asian history with the rest of Asia, there will also be educational galleries on Asian martial arts, costumes, food, and arts and craft. Also planned are major touring exhibitions and the hosting of arts and heritage events.

"The long-term vision of the group is to transform the project into a mega Asian cultural village with the participation of major Asian powers from Asean, China, India, Japan and South Korea," a representative of the group said.

The main message, the representative said, was to convey Asia's proud history. Both Asians and the rest of the world have much to learn about the diversity and dynamics of Asian cultural heritage, he said.

"This project should place Kuala Lumpur ahead on the world map for tourism and heritage. In addition to other benefits, the museum project is designed to also boost tourism revenue."

The group intends to set up an advisory international heritage panel (much like the industry advisory panel for the Multimedia Super Corridor project), comprising respected personalities from the region.

"Another value of the project is in the promotion of Asian peace, especially in the light of conflicts in disputed islands and seas," the representative said.

"Promoting cultural goodwill can be a positive influencer on peace."

The museum project, if undertaken in Kuala Lumpur, would involve the tourism as well as information, communications and culture ministries, which have already given their backing, various agencies and foreign investments.

However, there is one concern: the group is unsure which ministry or agency should be approached for funding and a suitable venue.

The group recently pitched the idea to the Public-Private Partnership Unit (Ukas) in the Prime Minister's Department where it made a presentation and submitted a formal request for a suitable venue and some financial support.

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