Published on: December 5, 2023

Dutch Government Hands Over Priceless Artefacts to Sri Lanka: A Milestone Event at the Colombo National Museum

Public Exhibition Unveils 6 Upland Artefacts Acquired During Dutch Colonial Era

Following a milestone in international relations and provenance research, six priceless Kandyan artefacts seized during the Dutch colonial occupation of Sri Lanka have been returned from the Netherlands. These Kandyan artefacts will be on public display at the Colombo National Museum from today (05) until further notice.

A commemorative postage stamp issued during the event serves as a symbolic marker, celebrating the milestone in international relations and provenance research. The event took place at the National Museum today, presided over by the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Vidura Wickramanayake, and the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka. This marked a significant step in cultural collaboration between the two nations.

The exhibits include golden and silver kasthãné (ceremonial swords), two maha thuwakku (wall guns), and Lewke Disave’s cannon, which were originally taken as war booty by the Dutch East India Company in 1765, during the siege of the Palace of Kandy.

In attendance at this distinguished occasion were the Minister of State for Media, Shantha Bandara, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka, Ms. Bonnie Horbach, the Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Dewi van de Weerd, Ambassador of Egypt in Sri Lanka Maged Mosleh the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Somaratne Vidanapathirana, the Director General of the National Museum Department, Sajani Kasturiarachchi, and several distinguished officials from both the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.



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