Prince Diponegoro's Kris Safe from National Museum Fire
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Ahmad Mahendra, the acting head of the Museums and Cultural Heritage Agency, confirmed that Prince Diponegoro's heritage collection was safe from the impact of the fire that occurred at the National Museum last Saturday. The collection of keris (traditional Javanese wavy daggers), known as Kiai Naga Siluman, is stored in a different building from the site of the fire.
“I ensure that the Diponegoro collection is safe because it is in a different building,” Ahmad told Tempo on Monday, September 18, 2023.
The Kiai Naga Siluman Keris was returned to Indonesia in 2020 after being stored for a long time in a museum in the Netherlands. The total insurance value of the repatriation of the historical artifacts along with thousands of other objects amounted to 1.1 million Euros or Rp17 billion.
Ahmad said there were restrictions on activities at the National Museum in the wake of the fire in order to safeguard these objects, as well as other historical collections. He emphasized that only interested people should approach the fire site.
“Anyone entering the rooms must have my permission,” he emphasized. “Even our employees have off days except for those who are being investigated. The employees who are being probed are the ones on duty on Saturday.”
The restriction takes place as a joint team consisting of the police, forensic laboratory, curator, conservator, and Public Infrastructure and Facilities Management (PPSU) officers investigated the six rooms affected by the fire. The National Museum is also closed to media crews and the public.
SAVERO ARISTIA WIENANTO
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