Netherland to Return Hundreds of Indonesian Artifacts During Colonial Period

The Netherlands reportedly will return Indonesia’s artifacts that they looted during the colonial period. It is said that the amount of the looted artifacts has reached about 472 valuable artifacts.

One of the 472 valuable artifacts is “Lombok Treasure”. The artifact is a high value artifact consisting of gemstones, precious stones, gold and silver. The high value artifact was plundered by Dutch colonial soldiers from Tjakranegara Castle after the Lombok War ended in 1894.

Besides Lombok’s high value artifact, the artifacts that will be returned are four statues from Singasari (Malang Regency), a traditional Balinese dagger from Klungkung (Bali), and 132 Balinese modern art objects (known as Pita Maha Collection).

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Speaking of the return of the artifacts, the Netherlands have returned Pangeran Diponegoro’s dagger during the visit of the King and Queen of the Netherlands and about 1.500 Indonesia’s cultural objects were returned to Indonesia from Nusantara Museum, located in Delft. The museum reportedly permanently closed because of the lack of funds.

Director General of Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture, Hilmar Farid, said that the estimated time of arrival of the returning artifacts will be in August. Currently, Hilmar Farid is in the middle of dealing with the technical deal of the return and the transmission. Hilmar also said that the 472 looted Indonesian artifacts are just the first batch of the returning. There might be another returning batch possibly to come in the future.

Hilmar explained that the plan of the Dutch government to return the historic object had started four years ago. The plan was closely executed with the formation of a team between the Dutch and Indonesian governments regarding the artifact-returning two years ago.

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