Art News, Artists, Music and more!

Indonesia Call For Return of ‘Java Man’, Other Items From The Netherlands

The Indonesia government has formally requested the Netherlands to return various looted items, including the remains of ‘Java Man’.

According to reports, the Indonesian government had first requested the return of items in July, sharing a list of items. The list, which included items allegedly looted during colonization, was sent to the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science. However, after receiving no conclusive response, the chairman of the Indonesian repatriation mission shared the list publicly last week.

Remains of the ‘Java Man’

The most important demand in the list was the return of the natural history collection that was obtained from Indonesia between 1897-1990 and is currently displayed at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center. The central attraction of the collection is the world-famous ‘Java Man’. The remains, which largely include a skull and a femur, are considered the earliest remains of the Homo erectus species – the precursor of modern-day humans. It was discovered in 1891 and considered revolutionary at the time.

Another important item asked to be repatriated is the “Lombok Treasure”. The stunning treasure – which includes 230 kilograms of gold, 7 tonnes of silver, and various gemstones – was looted by the Dutch army in 1894. While half of the treasure was returned in 1977, the remaining half is located at the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden (and many others displayed in a museum in Amsterdam).

Also Read: Just Stop Oil Protestors Fiercely Defend Their Actions In Viral TikTok

The move came sometime after a 2020 Dutch report that highlighted the various looted items from Indonesia and called for repatriation. In September, a Dutch committee visited the southeast Asian country to discuss terms of repatriation. Lilian Gonçalves, head of the repatriation mission, will oversee the return.