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National Museum that houses pre-historic artifacts ravaged by fire

Jakarta Globe - September 17, 2023

BeritaSatu, Jakarta – The National Museum in Jakarta, housing hundreds of thousands of ancient artifacts, including prehistoric treasures, suffered a devastating fire on Saturday evening, resulting in substantial damage and the potential loss of national treasures.

While the exact scope of the losses remains unknown, police have reported that at least four major rooms of the museum were completely destroyed by the fire.

Central Jakarta Police Chief Komarudin told reporters that the museum's Building A, which housed prehistoric artifacts, was engulfed by the fire, resulting in the destruction of at least four rooms. He said the fire was brought under control within hours and no injuries were reported.

As for the losses, the officer said it was not his authority to make the assessment.

"Experts will provide us with an assessment of the losses, but the fire has destroyed display rooms, and the lobby, and even caused the roof to collapse. The museum contained many flammable materials," he explained.

An investigation is currently underway to determine the cause of the fire.

According to its website, the museum boasts a collection of at least 190,000 historic items, including archaeological artifacts, numismatic collections, ancient heraldic lines, ceramics, Hindu and Buddhist statues, and ethnographic items. Among its prized possessions is the Dipangkara Statue, believed to be the country's oldest bronze Buddhist statue.

"Our priority is to retrieve and rescue as many artifacts and historic items as possible from the affected rooms of the museum," Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim said at the scene on Saturday evening.

A joint team consisting of experts, police, and firefighters will assess the damages and compile a list of items lost in the blaze, he added.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/national-museum-that-houses-prehistoric-artifacts-ravaged-by-fir