via BNN, 29 November 2023: The long-lost saber of Indonesian resistance icon Diponegoro has been rediscovered at Paleis Het Loo in the Netherlands. Initially possessed by the family of General Hendrik Merkus de Kock, who captured Diponegoro in 1830, the saber’s Indonesian roots were obscured by modifications. Its rediscovery, revealing its true Indonesian craftsmanship, has sparked anticipation in Indonesia, where Diponegoro is a national hero for his resistance against Dutch colonial rule. The find has significant cultural implications, possibly leading to a request for its repatriation to Indonesia.
A long-lost saber belonging to Indonesian resistance hero Diponegoro has resurfaced at Paleis Het Loo in the Netherlands after decades of obscurity. The weapon, with its cultural significance as the embodiment of Diponegoro’s spirit or ‘pusaka’, is a symbol of the hero’s resistance against Dutch colonial rule.
Finding the Lost Saber
Dutch researchers unraveled the origins of the saber following the discovery of a 1956 letter from the descendants of General Hendrik Merkus de Kock, who apprehended Diponegoro in 1830, marking the end of the Java War. The family had proposed selling the weapon, identified as Diponegoro’s, to the Bronbeek Museum, a repository of Dutch East Indies military history. However, due to insufficient funds, the museum was unable to make the purchase.