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Posted by : Lalu Ahmad Hamdani Rabu, 10 September 2014


Marcopolo, Vasco da Gama, the Pirates of Caribean, James Cook, and the other world’s finest explorer might have one related reason to discovered the world. Those special reason was to found the world’s precious treasures. Golds, rare materials, spices, endemic creatures, ancient architectures, historical inscriptions, and many more. Finding treasures always be the human wildest dreams in the world and become the biggest motivation to push them challenge the difficult journey. In such a modern age like today, is treasures hunter and the great wanderer still exist?

Treasures hunter still exist. There is Michael Hatcher, an Englishman from Australia that’s widely known as “The Wreck Salvage King” and mostly wanted by Indonesian Government. Indonesia climed Hatcher has stolen much asset on many Indonesian teritorial since 1986. His latest treasures hunting activity in the deep of Indonesian see recorded in Bangka archipelago, 1999. He succesfully lifted up the Teng Sing ship and take its treasures with estimated cost around 500 billion Rupiah.

The next question is, where the hell the treasures sold? When I read some information about an Antique Market in the mids of Jakarta, I curious to go there to saw what are they offered. This Antique Market is located in Jalan Surabaya, Menteng, Center Jakarta. I arrived right at the same time whit the high traffic jamm peak, after work hour season. Those Antique Market of Jakarta suddenly become a float of vehicles and antiques.

Along 500 meters of those stright road, the antiques were just scattered on the pedestrian side. Indeed, the shops were too narrow to placed too many antique things inside. Many of them were hundred years old antique-colonial-era things, arts, handycrafts, scluptures, vinyl, and every old interesting things.
I walked slowly through the pedestrian side, watched my steps carefully to avoid undesirable touch. I believe, even an experienced historian will fall in love with this place. Honestly, I feel I’m being a time traveler amongs those things. With more than 170 shops and thousands antique choise, an arts lovers and collectors could be confused too.

Jalan Surabaya was famous since 1960’s as an Antique Market of Jakarta. It’s officially opened by the Jakarta legendary Governor, Mr. Ali Sadikin. In 1994, Bill Clinton, former President of USA, have been visited the market. “He spends 200 USD for a couple of scluptures, the Loro Blonyo.” Said Mr. Anwar, the owner of antique shops number 80 that have being antique seller since 1980’s.

The saddest part of this story is when  I found Mr. Anwar and view seller sold the artifacts which is believe came from Majapahit empire era. Mr. Anwar his self sold a kind of stone tools artifact, as seems as hundred years old-traditional nutcracker. He climed that he could earn 2-3 million Rupiah from those kind of artifact.
Another seller near Mr. Anwar shop also sold more precious artifacts. With only 2,5-4 million Rupiah, we can bring an ancient sclupture of Buddhist head or a Hindus Main God sclupture.

I asked them, where were they bought those -actually, priceless- artifacts? They told me that they got it from another person. I guessed, if the artifacts is real, they might were stolen from uncared temples around Java. Indeed, in Java Island itself, there are so many hiden Hindu-Buddhist temples that uncovered, lying on typically cloistered villages. Teens to hundreds artifacts such as, scluptures, stone tools, inscription, bas-relief, were lost.

Half of them might were stranded on these pedestrian side of Jalan Surabaya, Menteng, Center Jakarta. They are waiting to be save or found by the treasure hunters.

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