In 2007, a massive project was launched in the province of Aceh, Indonesia, to build a museum on behalf of the victims of the catastrophic tsunami of 2004. The time to open the doors to visitors has come.
When the Asian tsunami devastated Indonesia in 2004, the world seemed to stop. The vastness and depth of its impact was shocking and even today, there are hundreds of families which are still in dire need of a new home. The extent of international aid, once again proved that in time of need, there are still many who are willing to offer a helping hand.
While the infrastructure has been restored and rebuilt, thousands of families have been able to find a new home. Hundreds of new hospitals have been established and the entire coastline has been recreated. However, the loss of 230,000 of lives is impossible to forget. The province of Aceh, Indonesia, which was most seriously hit, is soon expecting to open a multimillion museum, which commemorates the victims of the tsunami.
The Tsunami Museum is a multipurpose facility – apart from remembering those who lost their lives in the disaster, it is an educational center and an emergency disaster shelter. Its design resembles a large ship and the roof was built in the shape of a tidal wave. The exhibits are not in yet, however, the walls have been covered with Islamic reliefs and the museum is open. The chimney wall will feature all names of the victims. Also, a praying chamber was set up for visiting families. The museum also offers an electronic simulation of an underwater earthquake and will display photographs featuring the damaged area as well as those who lost their lives here.
The project is a spectacular one – a winner in a tough competition of another 124 which were submitted in 2007. It is a truly magnificent tribute to the people of Indonesia which now offers at least some kind of consolation to those who survived yet will always find it hard to forget.
Photo: Tourism Review