The ongoing fallout from the criminal charges brought against disgraced Asian antiquities dealers Subhash Kapoor and Nancy Wiener has put a spotlight on the Asian collections of many of the world’s great museums, raising questions about provenance, ownership and the hunt for stolen antiquities. An exhibition of collection masterpieces at New York’s Asia Society Museum … Continue reading Museums, masterpieces and morals
February/March 2017 marks 75 years since the sinking of many Allied ships in Indonesian waters in World War II. Now the resting place of thousands of sailors, divers were surprised to find five of the wrecks in the Java Sea have completely vanished, likely the work of salvagers. In an extended version of an article first … Continue reading Ghost ships: why are World War II naval wrecks vanishing in Indonesia?
Natali Pearson, PoP’s resident museologist, visits the site of one of Australia’s bloodiest maritime disasters, and discovers the remarkable technology that is being used to make Beacon Island accessible to everyone From our tiny 6-seater plane, the 122 islands that make up the Houtman Abrolhos are deceptively close to the Western Australian coast. Taking off from … Continue reading Treasure Island meets Lord of the Flies: rediscovering the Batavia shipwreck
PoP's archaeologist Michael Leadbetter stumbles into the world of Filipino dance and culture at the Asian Civilisations Museum Singapore. Cheers, rhythms, claps, whirling colours and an urge to dance are not what usually greets you when you enter a museum. However, Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum was ablaze with colour, culture and sound for the Love, Light, Living festival. The … Continue reading Mabuhay from Singapore
Understanding the ancient history of Asia is increasingly becoming a significant part of historical studies for Australian school students. Sydney University Museums Education Officer and PoP's Archaeologist Michael Leadbetter explores some of the ways Asian artefacts are being incorporated into the museum’s school educational activities. The Asian art collection in the Sydney University Museums collection provides … Continue reading Crossing the Wall: Teaching Asian archaeology with the University of Sydney’s collections
In 1942, HMAS Perth and USS Houston sank in the Sunda Strait, taking with them over 1000 lives (and one cat). These wrecks have been at the mercy of the ocean - and scavengers - for over 50 years. Now, cultural institutions in Australia and Indonesia are collaborating to protect the wrecks from further damage and … Continue reading Finders, not keepers