Museum Security Network

Solo Police Investigates Theft of Museum's Bronze Statue.

Thursday, 25 September, 2008.

TEMPO Interactive, Solo:The police in Solo, Central Java, Police will begin after Lebaran an investigation into the theft of an antique bronze statue from the Radya Pustaka museum, said Solo police chief Akhmad Syukrani.

According to Syukrani, the police got hold of Central Java Relic Protection and Preservation (BP3)’s inventory list which said that on November 2007, 52 items out of the entire 85 bronze collection in Indonesia’s oldest museum were copies.

Syukrani said that the police was in possession of evidence indicating the statues were forgeries and the actual relics dating back 6 – 9th century BC. “The facts pointed at Heru Suryanto as the suspect,” he said.

Heru Suryanto was charged with selling one of the stone relics from the same museum. He is now detained in Surakarta prison since the judge gave the verdict of one and a half years imprisonment last June. He collaborated with the Radya Pustaka museum’s curator, KRH Darmodipuro alias Mbah Hadi to forge and sell six pieces of relics to Hugo E. Kreijger, a former curator at Christie’s in Amsterdam.

However, until today the police were unable to bring in Hugo who is residing at the outskirts of Amsterdam, even though he has been declared as a suspect since December 2007. Solo Police have also sent a red alert to the Interpol after unsuccessfully trying to present Hugo in court through Hashim Djojohadikusumo, a businessman who bought the relics.

Archeologists believe that the stolen bronze is a major showcase of the museum, which belongs to Keraton Surakarta Foundation, since the collection consists of rare statues like the statue of Princess Cunda. There are only two statues of the a diety who represents wisdom of the world. The second such relic can be found in India. Therefore Cunda is estimated to be sold in international auctions for Rp 20 billion.

Syukrani doubts the police will be able to solve the bronze statues case immediately, since there has been no clarification as to when the collection was stolen and copied. “They were probably stolen before the stone relics,” he said.

Moreover, the police must first find the original statues. “This is going to be difficult,” Syukrani said. An investigator told Tempo that the bronze collection might have gone to a collector overseas. Several collectors from the US, England, Hong Kong, and Singapore have contacted the police to clarify their bronze documents’ validity.

The mayor of Solo, Djoko Widodo claimed to have been contacted by local collectors. “They are willing to surrender the statues as long as they will not be charged,” he said.

Syukrani hopes that Heru and other inmates who are now in prison are willing to tell the truth and accelerate the investigation. “I hope they will be cooperate,” he said. The police will also question BP3 officials as witnesses.

From prison, Heru Suryanto denied charges he sold the bronze collection. “It’s not that I want to redeem myself, but I don’t know that many people who deal in bronze,” he claimed.

Thursday, 25 September, 2008 | 17:17 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Solo:The police in Solo, Central Java, Police will begin after Lebaran an investigation into the theft of an antique bronze statue from the Radya Pustaka museum, said Solo police chief Akhmad Syukrani.

According to Syukrani, the police got hold of Central Java Relic Protection and Preservation (BP3)’s inventory list which said that on November 2007, 52 items out of the entire 85 bronze collection in Indonesia’s oldest museum were copies.

Syukrani said that the police was in possession of evidence indicating the statues were forgeries and the actual relics dating back 6 – 9th century BC. “The facts pointed at Heru Suryanto as the suspect,” he said.

Heru Suryanto was charged with selling one of the stone relics from the same museum. He is now detained in Surakarta prison since the judge gave the verdict of one and a half years imprisonment last June. He collaborated with the Radya Pustaka museum’s curator, KRH Darmodipuro alias Mbah Hadi to forge and sell six pieces of relics to Hugo E. Kreijger, a former curator at Christie’s in Amsterdam.

However, until today the police were unable to bring in Hugo who is residing at the outskirts of Amsterdam, even though he has been declared as a suspect since December 2007. Solo Police have also sent a red alert to the Interpol after unsuccessfully trying to present Hugo in court through Hashim Djojohadikusumo, a businessman who bought the relics. .

Archeologists believe that the stolen bronze is a major showcase of the museum, which belongs to Keraton Surakarta Foundation, since the collection consists of rare statues like the statue of Princess Cunda. There are only two statues of the a diety who represents wisdom of the world. The second such relic can be found in India. Therefore Cunda is estimated to be sold in international auctions for Rp 20 billion.

Syukrani doubts the police will be able to solve the bronze statues case immediately, since there has been no clarification as to when the collection was stolen and copied. “They were probably stolen before the stone relics,” he said.

Moreover, the police must first find the original statues. “This is going to be difficult,” Syukrani said. An investigator told Tempo that the bronze collection might have gone to a collector overseas. Several collectors from the US, England, Hong Kong, and Singapore have contacted the police to clarify their bronze documents’ validity.

The mayor of Solo, Djoko Widodo claimed to have been contacted by local collectors. “They are willing to surrender the statues as long as they will not be charged,” he said.

Syukrani hopes that Heru and other inmates who are now in prison are willing to tell the truth and accelerate the investigation. “I hope they will be cooperate,” he said. The police will also question BP3 officials as witnesses.

From prison, Heru Suryanto denied charges he sold the bronze collection. “It’s not that I want to redeem myself, but I don’t know that many people who deal in bronze,” he claimed.

http://www.tempointeractive.com

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