Ancient statue in Larantuka smuggled into Australia

Ancient statue in Larantuka smuggled into Australia

Larantuka artifact

Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - An ancient bronze statue, with historical value and a cultural heritage for the indigenous people of Larantuka, East Flores District, has been smuggled into Australia, East Nusa Tenggara Cultural Office Chief Sinun Petrus Manuk stated.

"The bronze statue is now in Canberra, but the East Nusa Tenggara provincial government does not yet know exactly how the statue was smuggled into Australia," Manuk informed Antara here on Wednesday.

Manuk said that based on information available with the government of East Nusa Tenggara, the bronze statue of a woman weaving and breastfeeding her infant in Larantuka was a replica created in Yogyakarta.

"The original bronze statue is now in Canberra, while the current one in East Flores is a replica," Manuk remarked, adding that the bronze statue of cultural significance belonging to Indonesia was on display at the Australian National Gallery several years ago.

Manuk asserted that the East Nusa Tenggara government will coordinate with the central government to ensure that the artefact is brought back to the province.

"The item of cultural interest has been smuggled out of the country, so the central government has the authority to oversee the process of getting it back to Indonesia," Manuk noted.