Subject: LUSA: Recovered Archives To Protect Territory's 'Memory' - UN Chief

East Timor: Recovered Archives To Protect Territory's 'Memory' - UN Chief 26 Mar-12:50

UN administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello inaugurated an exhibit of East Timorese historical documents in Dili at the weekend, saying it represented an effort "to recover part of this country's history".

The documents on display, the oldest dating from 1896, were recovered and restored following the wave of Indonesian-instigated violence after the 1999 independence plebiscite that destroyed more than 80 percent of historical archives, Vieira de Mello said.

"We continue to count on the support of the Portuguese government to reconstitute the memory of Timor", he added, announcing that the construction of Dili's National Archives should be completed in April.

Portugal ruled East Timor for more than four centuries prior to Indonesia's invasion of the territory in 1975.

Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, who attended the ceremony Saturday, told Lusa the Catholic Church was awaiting the appearance of a patron to help it set up a church museum.

The bishop's residence and other central church installations, along with archives and religious artifacts, were largely destroyed during the anti-independence militia violence.

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