A crime against… archaeology

Regional representatives from Trowulan in East Java have accused the Indonesian government of committing criminal activities because of their involvement in the destruction of artefacts from the Majapahit empire. Majapahit is considered to be the greatest of the ancient kingdoms of Indonesia, and the tales of its glory is embedded in the national psyche. Ironically, the destruction of the buried artefacts were the result of the government’s wish to create a modern Majapahit information centre over the area where the empire’s centre is supposed to be.

Govt accused of crime in destruction of artifacts
The Jakarta Post, 29 January 2009

The Regional Representatives Council (DPD) says government officials have committed a crime in damaging historical artifacts from the ancient Majapahit kingdom in East Java, during the construction of a cultural park.

Referring to a 1992 law on cultural heritage protection, DPD member Faisal Mahmud told a hearing on Wednesday the offense was punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and Rp 100 million in fines.


Related Books:
Java in the 14th Century: A Study in Cultural History The Nagara-Kertagama by Rakawi, Prapanca of Majapahit, 1356 A.D.
MAJAPAHIT
The legacy of Majapahit
In Search of Majapahit
Telugus of Southeast Asia in early age (till pre-Majapahit) (CSIC monograph)
Desawarnana: (Nagarakrtagama (Verhandelingen Van Het Koninklijk Instituut Voor Taal-, Land- En Volkenkunde, 169)

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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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