Borneo artefacts in European museums to be returned to Sarawak

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg presents a special award to AirAsia chief executive officer Aireen Omar for the airline's contribution to the state tourism industry at the 7th Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards Gala dinner .

KUCHING, Nov 25: After nearly half a century, Borneo artefacts of historical and cultural value kept by European countries in their respective museums, are finally returning home.

The first batch includes 412 artefacts such as ancient human bones, kept in Prinsehof Museum, in Delft, a city in the south of Holland. It is expected to reach Kuching early next year and will be displayed to the public at Sarawak Textile Museum.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who is currently on a European working trip from Nov 20-28, is tasked to bring back the Sarawak artefacts.

“These artefacts are an important part of Sarawakian history. We hope that they can be displayed back home here, where they belong.”

Abang Johari said all these artefacts returned by European countries will be displayed at the new Sarawak Museum upon its completion in 2020.

Among the artefacts include historical files kept at the British Natural History Museum, such as world renowned explorer Alfred Wallace’s writings about Sarawak.

Speaking at the 7th Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards Gala dinner here last night, Abang Johari said that the state government planned to build a Wallace centre in Santubong as the famous naturalist had carried out significant research here.

He said the proposed centre would be similar to the Darwin centre in the Natural History Museum in London, offering a new attraction for those who love nature and adventure.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari announced an allocation of RM15 million to upgrade the Kuching Waterfront.

Together with the Darul Hana Bridge and the Satok suspension bridge which is currently under construction, Abang Johari said these three landmarks would become attractions for tourists. — DayakDaily