Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Course Focuses on Spectacular Nan Madol Site

On November 11, 24 museum staff and historic preservation officers from 16 Pacific Island countries visited and studied the 12th to 17th Century island city of Nan Madol, by boat. This was the launch of the course "Conserving Pacific Heritage Sites," the second course of the program "PREMO 1994-1998, Preservation by the Museums of the Pacific Island States." The first course, on preserving oral history, was held in New Caledonia in 1994.

Nan Madol consists of 92 man-made islets covering an area of approximately 200 acres, located in Pohnpei State, Federated States of Micronesia. It was a political and religious center for the Saudeleur dynasty of chiefs from approximately 1100 to 1600 AD. The most spectacular of the islets have remains of sea walls, tombs and other structures built of large columnar basalt stones, brought to Nan Madol from other parts of Pohnpei. 11,000 tourists visit Nan Madol each year. Full information is available from the Pohnpei State Government.

"Conservation of Pacific Heritage Sites" is about planning preservation of historic landscapes and sites. Participants will be able to draft a conservation study or management plan for archaeological sites, historic buildings and other historic places, drawing on community participation in the process. Participants are using Nan Madol as a case study. The FSM National Government, Pohnpei State Government and traditional chiefs for the Madolenihmw municipality are all involved in planning or participating in the course.

The University of Canberra has prepared the course and will be revising the training package using feedback from course participants. In 1997-998, the training package will be published for use throughout the Pacific island states.

Sponsors for the course include UNESCO, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Australia, Fiji, the PATA Foundation, Skaggs Foundation, Continental Micronesia Airlines, Mobil Oil Micronesia, FSM Telecommunications, and ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) in Rome.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356