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The Museums

The many monuments and museums, large and small which are found throughout this country offer together virtually the whole spectrum of Indonesian life, thought and history, beginning from the time of the earliest inhabitation and even before, up to the present.
The best known, and also the oldest in existence of the museum of art, culture and history is the Central Museum in Jakarta. Museums of natural history are found in Bogor and Bandung. Of equal scientific interest, though small in size, is the Sangiranmuseum of paleontology and anthropology.

Central Museum (elephant-museum)
Jakarta's Central Museum is reputedly one of the finest in Southeast Asia. Founded in 1788, it still has the world's most complete collection of Indonesian artifacts. Its Hindu-Javanese collection rivals that of the Leiden Museum in Holland, reputedly the finest in the world. It has one the richest collections of Han, Tang and Ming porcelain and an array of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese export ceramics
Its numismatic collection includes rare specimens of cloth-money used in the past in various areas of Indonesia. Adjacent to the museum is the National Library with over 700,000 old and recent volumes of books, manuscripts and periodicals covering virtually every subject on Indonesian. located at JI. Merdeka Barat 12, Jakarta.

Sangiran Museum
Small museum in this village, 15 km from Solo, displays prehistoric fossils found in the area. This area along the Solo river is an outcropping of the earth's old strata which have in the past yielded many major finds. Among them were the remains of "solo Man" (Homo Soloensis), one of the earliest hominid fossils known.
The fossilized remains of the earliest inhabitants of Java found so far, the "Java Man" or Pithecanthropus erectus, were found in 1881 by the Dutchman Dr. Eugene Dubois near the village of Trinil in East Java. The find has since been succeeded by several others. The Directorate of National Heritage and Historical Values of the Department of Education and Culture is in charge of the supervision of the site management.

Taman Fatahilla Museum
This open-air museum of Old Batavia, now called Jakarta, Taman Fatahillah (Fatahillah Square) has three main establishments standing on the south, east and west of the cobblestone square proper. The first is the Jakarta Museum which exhibits the colonial history of the city by also includes relics from the pre-colonial past. The edifice on the east, formerly the Supreme Court, houses the Fine Arts Gallery and the Ceramics Museum containing, among others, the excellent Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics collection donated by the late former Vice President Adam Malik. On the western side of the square is the Wayang Museum, filled with all sorts of puppets used in the indigenous puppet theatre. The largest part of the collection consists of wayang kulit flat leather puppets of various types from various regions. Demonstrations of the shadow play, lasting two hours, are given every Sunday morning.

Maritime Museum
At the northern end of Jakarta, in the old Sunda Kelapa harbour area, is the Maritime Museum with exhibits displayed inside the old Dutch East India Company warehouses. In small scale models and pictures, the museum attempts to give the visitor an idea of Indonesia's seafaring tradition and the importance of the sea to the economy of present-day Indonesia. The museum has models of fishing boats from most parts of Indonesia, stone anchors used in some areas, modern steamers and also the celebrated Pinisi schooners of the Bugis people of South Sulawesi which at present make up one of the last sea-going sailing fleets in the world. Located at JI. Pasar Ikan, Phone: 6693406 Jakarta.

National Museum (Monas)
The 137-metre tall monument with the gold flame on top facing the Presidential Palace in Jakarta symbolizes the nation's independence.
The basement of the monument houses a Museum of History with dioramas depicting the history of Indonesia from prehistoric times up to the present. A good portion of it is devoted to the national war for independence waged from 1945 to December 1949. Not part of the museum but located similarly at the foot of the National Monument is the Hall of Silence, Indonesia's first President, Soekarno, can be heard. Located at Jalan Silang Monas Jakarta.

Satria Mandala Museum
Located in the southern part of Jakarta, is the Satria Mandala Museum, or Armed Forces Museum. This museum has an interesting collection of arms, including Japanese fighter planes of World War II vintage, Russian and American guns and armoured cars. Dioramas give the visitor an insight regarding the role of the Indonesian Armed Services in this country. Located at Jalan Jend. Gatot Subroto, Jakarta.

Textile Museums
The Textile Museum on Jalan Sasuit Tubun in Jakarta, a many times renovated 19th century mansion, houses a collection of about 600 different kinds of traditional Indonesian textiles, from batik to ikat and Dayak bark cloths. Weaving was and often still is closely connected with religious practice In many regions such textiles are still user to pay fines, avert illness or for other social and religious purposes. Some of the oldest Indonesian ornamental designs arc found in their original textiles.

Museums Indonesia TMII
Inside the Taman Mini is the Museum Indonesia a three storey edifice in traditional Balinese architecture. The museum houses a vast collection of Indonesian contemporary arts and crafts, traditional costumes from the various regions, puppets, musical instruments, masks, and a large variety of utensils and equipment used in daily life Mannequins and mock-ups display the various rituals concerned with the passage of life.

Sono Budoyo Museum
This museum facing the Kraton (Sultan's palace) in Yogyakarta was founded in 1935 and built in traditional Javanese architecture. Its fine collection includes weapons, leather and wooden wayang puppets, masks, statues, textiles, curiosa and old Javanese gamelan instruments. A library is attached. Located at Jalan Trikora 2 Yogyakarta.

Rajapustoko Museum
The Radjapustoko Museum is located next to the Sriwedari amusement park in Solo and has a miscellaneous by interesting collection of art objects and mementoes from Java's past.
Located at JI. Slamet Riyadi 234 Solo, Central Java.

Zoological Museum
The Zoological Museum in Bogor has a vast collection of preserved species of Indonesian fauna, from birds and reptiles to mammals and conchs, most of it displayed in lifelike dioramas. The museum has a library on the Indonesian fauna as well.

Geological Museum
Another museum of natural history is the Geological Museum in Bandung with an annexed library. Part of the Geological Service of Indonesia, it was founded in 1929 and has collection of fossils, rocks, minerals, volcano models, maps, maquetes etc. The fossilized skull of Pithecanthropus erectus, the celebrated prehistoric "Java Man" is kept here.

Postal/stamp Museum

Inscriptitions Museum

Other Monuments and Museums
Museums of local culture and history are found in many provincial capitals and towns, among others the Bukittinggi Museum in West Sumatera, the Makkasar Museum in the former Fort Rotterdam at Ujung Pandang, South Sulawesi and the Simalungun Museum at Pematang Siantar, North Sumatera.

 



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