Thursday, February 16, 2023, Westerlaken foundation/Yayasan Bali Bersih met with the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta. During the meeting, the foundation discussed several matters regarding managing cultural heritage, particularly those belonging to Puri Klungkung (the palace of Klungkung).
The foundation's Patron, Dr Rodney, conveyed the meeting results with Mr Puja (Head of the Indonesian Cultural Heritage Program committee) and said that the committee had submitted a list of low-hanging fruits to the Netherlands. In response, the Royal Netherlands Embassy explained that the Dutch government is currently conducting provenance research before these artifacts are returned to Indonesian soil.
The foundation also conveyed the return of cultural heritage to Puri Klungkung. Since the cultural heritage program had been running in 2018, the foundation has successfully repatriated five artifacts to Bali, especially to the people of Klungkung. The five artifacts are kept in a small display cabinet and are well cared for at the Semarajaya Museum, Klungkung. However, considering the capacity of museums and cultural objects, which will continue to grow, the foundation submitted a plan to add a special cabinet to the Semarajaya Museum.
Through a proposal, the foundation requested cooperation for a proper display cabinet of the returned artifacts, which respects the story of Klungkung and which tells the dark page of the history of the Netherlands Kingdom and the Klungkung Kingdom. The cabinet will display the kris, tombak, and other artifact belonging to the Klungkung Palace. A QR code to a recently made video in which the current King of Klungkung tells his version of the history of the artifacts scattered between Jakarta and the Netherlands.
The cabinet will be equipped with adequate lighting and solar panel support. Previously, the museum manager conveyed that the museum's electrical power was insufficient and incapable of supplying electricity for additional lighting.
The Royal Netherlands Embassy warmly welcomed the foundation team and will consider the cabinet's request with her team. She also appreciated the activities the foundation had carried out and the return of cultural objects belonging to the Kingdom of Klungkung.