Jakarta – There is an excuse that is often invoked to justify the refusal by Western museums to return cultural artifacts looted from their former colonies.
History & Anthropology
September 21, 2023
September 18, 2023
Adam Bobbette – It is well known that Scots played crucial roles maintaining the British empire. This extended even to Java. The British ruled there for a short time from 1811-1816.
July 11, 2023
Leiden – The Netherlands and Indonesia on Monday hailed the return of hundreds of cultural artifacts taken – sometimes by force – during colonial times as a major step forward in restit
May 26, 2023
Jayapura, Jubi – According to Grace Linda Yoku, the Head of the Culture Division at the Jayapura City Education and Culture Office, Mount Srobu is an ancient civilization in Papua that
Wuryanti P, Kenzu, Jakarta – The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated the archive of the first Indonesian President Sukarno's speech
March 10, 2023
Kate Newsome, Jakarta – As Indonesia's historic newspapers perish in the archives, the country risks forever losing the voices of its past.
February 15, 2023
Yohana Belinda, Jakarta – Though people in the area think of it as a haunted house, the building plays a vital role in preserving a part of Indonesian history and culture through its re
December 18, 2022
Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Archaeologist Candrian Attahiyat remembered feeling anxious when construction for the second phase of Jakarta's underground mass rapid transit (MRT) network bega
December 7, 2022
Tunggul Wirajuda, Jakarta – To keep the iconic Indonesian dagger relevant today, kris experts carried out the age-old puja rahayu ningrat ceremony at Jakarta's Bentara Budaya cultural c
October 19, 2022
The Hague, Netherlands – Indonesia has asked the Netherlands to hand back at least eight art pieces and natural history collections that were acquired during the colonial era, including
February 15, 2022
Nur Janti, Jakarta – An ancient inscription on an andesite slab presumed to be from the time of the Mataram kingdom in the 10th century was found during a recent excavation of an unname
February 14, 2022
Senay Boztas – On the walls and counters, like portraits in blood, are the stylised images of eyewitnesses to four years of horrifying violence in Indonesia.
February 10, 2022
Daniel Boffey – The director of the Rijksmuseum said he was "happy" as Dutch prosecutors announced they would not proceed with an investigation into complaints over a newly opened exhib
January 16, 2022
Kiki Siregar, Jakarta – For most people, graveyards are places to avoid as they are often associated with spirits or spooky things best left to the otherworld.
September 2, 2021
Raka Ibrahim, Jakarta – Nobody knows precisely how it all ended, but we know what came after.
August 27, 2021
Jakarta – Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 7,200-year-old skeleton from a female hunter-gatherer in Indonesia that has a "distinct human lineage" never found anywhere in
May 13, 2021
Stuart Layt – Priceless ancient cave paintings in the Indonesian archipelago are crumbling at an increasing rate due to the effects of climate change.
March 19, 2021
Raghu Gururaj – Through the centuries, India has been a source of inspiration for art and architecture in Sumatra as it has been to the entire Southeast Asia.
February 14, 2021
By Raghu Gururaj
May 25, 2020
Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – Interdisciplinary cooperation will be needed to take care of Indonesia's cultural heritage sites and keep them sustainable during the coronavirus pandemic, th
February 26, 2020
Robin Perry – We were 45 metres up, precariously perched on a platform in the rainforest canopy, looking north towards West Papua as the early morning mist cleared to reveal the shimme
February 8, 2020
The areas of Indonesia where Dutch colonial rulers built a huge sugar-producing industry in the 1800s remain more economically productive today than other parts of the country, accordi
January 7, 2020
Jakarta – The Dutch government has returned 1,500 historical artifacts to Indonesia, four years after an agreement was made with the Education and Culture Ministry.
December 31, 2019
Dr Mark Busse and Sophie Faber – West Papua has been in the media more than usual over the last six months, with stories about indigenous protests against racism and repression, demand
December 11, 2019
Hannah Devlin – Cave art depicting human-animal hybrid figures hunting warty pigs and dwarf buffaloes has been dated to nearly 44,000 years old, making it the earliest known cave art b
July 10, 2018
Bambang Muryanto, Yogyakarta – A newspaper named Bintang-Barat published in Batavia (now Jakarta) in 1871 is displayed on the wall of Bentara Budaya, an exhibition hall in Yogyakarta.
March 18, 2018
Aisyah Llewellyn Medan, Sumatra – "We aren't allowed to talk about the ghosts anymore" explains Ernest Siregar, a guide at Tjong A Fie Mansion while giving a tour of the famous heritage
August 21, 2017
Jakarta – Culture director general at the Culture and Education Ministry Hilmar Farid said of 400 museums operating in the country, only 15 percent opened their doors to visitors.
October 5, 2015
Linawati Sidarto, Contributor, Amsterdam – While slavery in Dutch colonies in America is a known historical fact, hardly anyone is aware that up to a million people were bought, sold and had to end
September 1, 2015
Jewel Topsfield – Anthony Liem still has memories of the Indonesian war of independence.
February 7, 2015
Michael Bachelard – The people of Lolat in the high mountains of West Papua had their first experience of a white man in 1968, and it was a culinary one.
June 10, 2014
A graphic novel advocating West Papuan independence has been released online, as part of efforts to provide an alternative version of the history of the Indonesian-run province.
August 29, 2013
Marni Cordell – Indonesia officially acquired West Papua in 1969, after a sham ballot on independence in which only a handful of the local population were allowed to vote.
January 28, 2012
Desiree Tay – Glodok was once the vibrant heart of this capital city's Chinese community.
January 24, 2012
Ezra Sihite – The contribution of ethnic Chinese to Indonesia has not been clearly recorded in history books, and rectifying this could help to overcome lingering discrimination, a hist
December 12, 2008
Emma Macdonald – East Timor might be the newest sovereign state in the world, but for PhD graduate Nuno Oliveira the tiny country's ancient history is its most compelling feature.
August 20, 2007
Jakarta – The Indonesian people still need nationalism, albeit of a different kind, when facing a globalization movement "fueled by capitalism", says an academic.
August 1, 2007
Flag of Timor-Leste is red, with a black isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a slightly longer yellow arrowhead that extends to the center of the flag; there is
March 29, 2007
Jakarta – Acehnese cultural experts are calling for the revival of traditional and religious culture in Aceh, saying that local customs were strong prior to their erosion by the region'
April 8, 2006
Hamish McDonald – Thirty years ago I met a Papuan man called Imser in a place called Valley X, high in the mountainous spine of the Indonesian half of New Guinea.
February 8, 2006
Paul Kingsnorth – "Tomorrow," said Galile, "I will take you to the Bird of Paradise. We know where they live. You will hear them, and maybe see them too. They are very beautiful."