Museum theft: implicated business man pledges cooperation

25 November 2007 (Jakarta Post) – A further development to the museum theft story, the businessman who owns the house where some of the stolen statues were found in pledges his cooperation.

Hashim wants to cooperate, says lawyer
Blontank Poer

Hashim Djojohadikusumo’s lawyer said Saturday that the businessman had pledged his cooperation to the ongoing police investigation into the theft of artifacts from the Radya Pustaka Museum in Surakarta, Central Java.


The Surakarta Police had summoned Hashim for questioning Friday, but he failed to appear.

At least eleven archaeological artifacts are reportedly missing from the museum. The police have detained four suspects, including the museum curator KRH Darmodipuro. Based on the information provided by the suspects, the police searched Hashim’s house in Jakarta on Wednesday. There they found five statues that are believed to be among the stolen artifacts.

“Pak Hashim wants to cooperate fully with the police. That’s why he sent me here to assure (the police) that we have the proper purchase documents for the statues,” said Hashim’s lawyer, Deni Hermawan Pamungkas.

“I have also arranged an appointment with the police for Pak Hashim’s questioning,” he added.

Deni said Hashim was abroad and would return home sometime next week.

He also denied that his client had ever met Heru Suryanto, one of the suspects in the case. Heru is allegedly the key player in the theft and the middleman who linked the thieves to buyers.

“I myself am rarely able to contact Pak Hashim, let alone Heru,” he said.

However, he confirmed that Hashim knew the Dutch national, who allegedly works as a dealer and consultant for Christie’s auction house in Amsterdam. He also acknowledged that Hashim bought the five statues from Heru.

“The deal didn’t take place in Indonesia. Moreover, the payment for the purchase was made in foreign currency transferred through accounts with banks outside Indonesia,” he stressed.

The statues, he pointed out, cost Hashim millions of U.S. dollars and not just Rp. 500 million as widely reported in the media.

Hashim is the son of the late economist Soemitro Djojohadikusumo, and the elder brother of the former commander of the Army’s Kopassus special forces, Prabowo Subianto.


Related Books:
Icons of Art: The Collections of the National Museum of Indonesia by J. N. Miksic
Museum Treasures of Southeast Asia by B. Campell
Museums Of Southeast Asia by I. Lenzi
Extraordinary Museums of Southeast Asia by K. Kelly
Art of Indonesia: Pusaka

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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