9 Feb 2007 (Jakarta Post) – A sad story about how ancient Hindu temples have been pillaged in Indonesia by private collectors.
Eighth century Hindu temple relics lost in Semarang
Many 8th century historical relics from Hindu temples in Central Java have been lost, and are believed to be in the hands of private antique collectors.
Villager Sukirman, a native of Sidomulyo village in Central Java’s Semarang regency, said that during the 1980s many people came to the area to buy temple ruins or carved stones from residents.
During the independence struggle of the 1940s, many temple ruins could be found in the area between Paren hamlet to Sekere Hill in Sidomulyo, Sukirman said.
“We considered them to be just temple ruins and of no value, except as black rocks. The government also didn’t take care of them,” he said.
As the area became more densely populated, nearly all the temple ruins were tampered with or damaged, and a number of intact statues were bought by middlemen and antique collectors.
– Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula by P. M. Munoz
– Hindu-Buddhist Architecture in Southeast Asia (Studies in Asian Art and Archaeology, Vol 19) by D. Chihara