Indonesian Museum missing even more artefacts

It seems that the Radya Pustaka Museum in central Java has even more artefacts missing, this time a set of ancient scrolls. The museum was in the news last year when it was discovered that some of its bronze statues were fakes that were replaced by antiquities dealers.

A Culture’s Heritage Facing Ruin And a Museum Unable to Save It
05 May 2009, Jakarta Globe

The disappearance of ancient scrolls from the shelves of Solo’s Radya Pustaka Museum is the latest incident to plague the museum and has raised concerns that the institution itself is at risk due to inadequate funding and a lack of professional management.

“There are a great many books in the library that do not match the catalog,” says Soemarni Wijayanti, or Yanti, a museum employee who says the fact the scrolls were missing had only been discovered over the past year. The problem started when she was preparing materials for Nancy Gradat, a scholar from the United States, who was conducting research in the museum.

According to Yanti’s inventory, the museum has 1,443 stamped or printed books and 480 handwritten books. She found that about 40 scrolls were missing.

“Nancy was also shocked at the condition of several books that are damaged,” Yanti says. “What can we do? We have no way to preserve them.”


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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.

One thought on “Indonesian Museum missing even more artefacts”

  1. I have some scrolls that were given to me 30 years ago by an old American women, who lived in San Francisco Her name was Doctor Fang. She said to me they might be worth money some day. I don’t in what language there are in. They are very very old. She musth of had them for a long time. I have the in a plastic bag. I found them when I was cleaning out my closet. Where can I go to have them read. I live in Alameda, Ca
    Thank you.

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