Looted artifacts returned to Indonesia
Indonesian artifacts ranging from jewels to 13th century temple carvings have been officially handed back by the Netherlands. Indonesia welcomed the return of cultural artifacts taken during colonial times as an important step in restitution efforts worldwide.
'We consider these objects as missing items, our historical narrative. And, of course, they play different roles: symbolically, culturally. For example, this statues behind me, they have a particular role in rituals. So, bringing them back, meaning that we integrate them into their cultural context. And that is of course of symbolic importance to us.'
'It's important to acknowledge the past. It's important to recognise that, in colonial times, people were subordinated. And, there was a lot of suffering. But that is not enough, you should show that you are willing to rectify historical injustice as much as you can.'
These are the first artifacts returned on the advice of a Dutch committee set up in 2022 to assess requests by countries for restitution of artifacts.