Jakarta excursion, from Paser Baroe to Kota Tua (Part 2)

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National Museum
National Museum (IO/Septo Kun Wijaya)

Museum Nasional

His Royal Highness Somjed Praparamintrama Chulalangkorn from Thailand came to Batavia bringing with him a bronze elephant statue. It was then gifted to the government of Batavia on his first visit to Indonesia from March 9 to April 15, 1871.

The elephant statue was then placed in the garden of the National Museum, built by the Dutch in 1862. From its establishment, the building has been a museum. Its collection was originally obtained from the Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen which later changed its name to the Indonesian Cultural Institute (LKI). On September 17, 1962, LKI handed over the management of the museum to the government.

The museum holds a collection of around 142,000 objects, but only 30 percent are on display. It is divided into five sections: prehistoric objects, archaeology, ceramics, a numismatic and heraldic collection in the form of medals and currency used during ancient kingdoms and colonial times, as well as an ethnographic collection.

If you’re curious about what our ancestors looked like, how they dressed and what they did to find food, come visit the National Museum, also popularly known as the Elephant Museum. It is located at 12 Medan Merdeka Barat St., Central Jakarta. The admission fee is really cheap, only Rp5,000 and you got to gain a lot of knowledge about human and civilization, especially of Indonesia.