On Monday, State Secretary Gunay Uslu of Culture and Media will sign an agreement in Sri Lanka to officially return six cultural objects to the South Asian country. It concerns looted art: objects that unjustly came into Dutch hands during the colonial occupation.
The objects for which Uslu is signing in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, on Monday are currently in the possession of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. They originated from Kandy, a city in the middle of Sri Lanka. These are gold and silver ceremonial swords (kastanes), two rifles, a Sinhala knife, and a cannon cast in bronze. The Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science expects to actually transfer the objects to Sri Lanka in a few months’ time.
The government already announced the return of the looted art at the beginning of July. In addition to Sri Lanka, the Netherlands has also returned looted cultural objects to Indonesia. The transfer of ownership happened on July 10 at Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden.
Reporting by ANP