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Indonesia negotiates return of ancient stone from Scotland
uusjio | January 24, 2008 at 07:58 pmby
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The Sangguran stone, a column dated 928 AD and inscribed with ancient Javanese characters, was taken from its site near the modern-day town of Malang in East Java in 1812, said Hadi Untoro Drajat of the culture ministry.
The stone, which weighs almost four tonnes and was installed to mark the ancient Sangguran village as a reserve area, is now being held by the Minto Trust, a family trust in Scotland, Drajat said.
"We are in negotiations to return the Sangguran stone back to Indonesia," Drajat was quoted by AFP as telling at a press conference.
The artefact was removed from East Java by British colonialist Stamford Raffles during his 1811 to 1816 rule over Java and parts of Sumatra island,
Raffles gave the stone to his superior Lord Minto, the governor general of India, who then brought it back to his home in Scotland where it still stands.
An Indonesian businessman who claims he unwittingly bought stolen antiquities last year is helping the government negotiate the stone's return.
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