Jakarta – After nearly two centuries, a golden kris belonging to Indonesia's national hero Prince Diponegoro was returned by the Dutch King Willem-Alexander, here on a three-day state visit with Queen Maxima and a 130-strong delegation, to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the Bogor Palace on Tuesday.
The golden kris was placed in a glass box not far from the podium where President Jokowi and King Willem-Alexander held a joint press statement.
Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim was seen explaining how the golden kris came into Dutch hands to the President and the King.
The Dutch government had returned several of Prince Diponegoro's belongings in 1968, but the golden kris was not included.
The kris was reportedly lost but was later found at the Volkenkunde Museum in Leiden.
A team of Dutch and Indonesian researchers has confirmed the authenticity of the golden kris.
Prince Diponegoro was a Javanese royal, the eldest son of Sultan Hamengkubuwono III of Yogyakarta, who led a crusade against Dutch colonial rule in the 1825-1830 Java War.
The war, in which 200,000 people died including 8,000 Dutch, ended with the prince's capture on March 28, 1830.
His famous golden kris was seized by the Dutch government during his famous capture when he was tricked into a fake negotiation – the subject of one of Indonesian painter Raden Saleh's most well-known paintings.
Colonel Jan-Baptist Cleerens gave Prince Diponegoro's golden kris as a gift to King Willem I in 1831.
Apart from returning the heirloom to Indonesia, the Dutch royal visit is intended to increase bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands.
"This is an excellent opportunity to work together for a future relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands," King Willem-Alexander said.