Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) – New York Mayor Bill De Blasio plans to attend the Banda Festival scheduled for November 2017 to mark the 350th anniversary of the exchange of Run Island (Banda Islands), Central Maluku District, with Manhattan Island, New York, under the Breda Agreement.
Maluku Governor Said Assagaff said here on Thursday the US Embassy confirmed the New York mayors plan to attend the festival through the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.
US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan will also attend the festival, he said.
The event, titled the Banda Festival 2017, marks the 350th anniversary of the Breda Agreement. The Breda Agreement is an exchange of Run and Manahattan Islands between Vereenigde OostibdischebCinpagnie (VOV) and a group of British soldiers in the early 17th century, led by Captain Nathaniel Courthope.
Britain handed over Run Island to the Netherlands and in return for the British acquired Manhattan, an island located south end of Hudson River, which is now one of five cities that make up New York State.
The agreement was made to defend the Dutch monopoly on the world spice trade.
The governor expects the Banda Cultural Festival to bring back the worlds attention to Banda.
“This festival should echo the glories of Banda Islands. The worlds historical narratives and the Indonesian people who have been engraved in this area are almost forgotten by the younger generation,” he said.
The Banda Festival 2017 will feature cultural performances, spice and culinary festival, dialogues on history, traditional music festivals, papermoon puppet theater performances, various workshops and exhibitions, such as photographs and street photos, sketch fairs and ancient map exhibition.
The other programs are the signing of peace inscription on Run Island and the inauguration of four national figures statues who were exiled in Banda, namely Hatta, Sjahrir, dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo and Iwa Koesoemasoemantri as well as a declaration on marine conservation on Hatta Island.