Solo Museum Says 9 Puppets Stolen, Replaced With Fakes

“He said he bought them in Solo,” the puppet master said.

“I was so embarrassed to hear that, because it showed how the legacy of our ancestors is now being taken away.”

Gutomo said some of the puppets at the museum appeared to be fakes, as seen from the quality of the material, workmanship and coloration. He added the BP3 had reported the case to the Culture and Tourism Ministry, which would send a team to investigate.

“ Just from a visual inspection, we can conclude that nine of the puppets are of dubious authenticity,” he said. “If indeed they turn out to be fakes, where are the originals?”

Radya Pustaka Museum in 2009 was rocked by similar allegations of theft when it revealed that 40 scrolls from its collection of 1,443 stamped or printed books and 480 handwritten books were missing.

Before that, six Hindu statues dating from the fourth to the 10th centuries were found to be in the possession of a prominent businessman. A probe later revealed they had been sold by museum staff and replaced by fakes. The head of the museum, KRH Damoriduro, was jailed for 18 months in the case.

Solo Mayor Joko Widodo deplored the latest case of alleged theft. “We can’t ignore the history of artifact theft from this museum,” he said. “However, we can’t set up a proper security system without government assistance.”

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Supported by : | Lintang Buana Tourism Services || || |

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