Yayasan Bali Bersih / Westerlaken foundation once again succeeded in returning cultural heritage, a tombak (spear), to Puri Klungkung (the palace of Klungkung). The tombak's return is part of the foundation's cultural heritage management programme.
This tombak is the fifth artefact of cultural heritage returned by the foundation to Puri Klungkung. In 2019, Yayasan Bali Bersih returned two tombaks, followed by one kris and another tombak in 2020.
Before being returned to the people of Klungkung, the tombak was offered on an auction in Germany. The foundation's patron, Dr Rodney Westerlaken, and other experts on Indonesian culture and keris collectors in the Netherlands then identified the origins of the tombak.
Identification was made by looking at the curves of the tombak, carving motifs, colours, and the sheath of the tombak. Apart from that, this tombak also has many similarities with other cultural artefacts originating from Klungkung. Yayasan Bali Bersih then acquired this tombak from the auction and returned it to its rightful owner, Puri Klungkung.
Ida Dalem Smara Putera, the King of Klungkung, expressed his gratitude to the foundation as an appreciation for returning cultural heritage to the people of Klungkung. He pinned a medal of honour to Dr Rodney Westerlaken as a form of gratitude and hope of increasing the cooperative relationship between Puri Klungkung and the foundation.
This tombak was then handed over to the Bupati of Klungkung and is now kept in the Semarajaya Museum. The Head of the Klungkung Culture Office (Dinas Kebudayaan Kabupaten Klungkung) is very grateful because the collection of objects from the Klungkung Kingdom can continue to grow.
The return of cultural heritage is expected to unite the community and emphasise the importance of passing on cultural traditions to the next generation.