Jakarta. Indonesia and Georgia highlighted their countries' similarities through a joint exhibition on prehistoric heritage at the National Museum in Jakarta on Tuesday (24/10) and expressed optimism on the beginning of a more comprehensive bilateral cooperation in science and education.
"This is a big opportunity to bring our research [together]. This is a story of human evolution, not just a local geographic project – an opportunity for both countries to develop high end science," David Lordkipanidze, director for the Georgian National Museum, said during a press conference.
The exhibit – which will conclude on Oct. 29 – is a follow-up to a meeting held last year between the director general of culture at the Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid, and Georgian Ambassador to Indonesia Zurab Aleksidze on how the two countries can develop a joint project.
"This prehistoric heritage [is] something connecting our two countries. The joint exhibition highlights our contribution to human evolution, and is part of our cultural diplomacy," Aleksidze said.
Different items from archaeological sites in Indonesia, such as those from Java – Trinil, Ngandong and Mojokerto – are on display at the exhibit alongside fossils found in Dmanisi, an archaeological site in Georgia.
In 1991, Georgia discovered 1.8 million-year-old human fossils in Dmanisi. They are the oldest of their kind found outside Africa and have been impactful in expanding the narrative on human evolution.
Drawing on these discoveries, Indonesia and Georgia agreed that both countries serve as important locations to carry out more research on evolution.
Lordkipanidze said that the exhibit illustrates a development of the two countries’ "relationship on another level."
"This is a project that has a different component – this is research I hope we will develop," he said.
Lordkipanidze also highlighted the importance of communicating science and said that Indonesia will also be presented in Georgia to facilitate a two-way communication between academics and people of the two countries.
In the future, Hilmar said there could be more exchanges of Indonesian and Georgian students and researchers, picking up from this most recent bilateral collaboration.