Returned colonial-era artifacts on public display from today
Posted on December 5th, 2023

Courtesy Adaderana

Following a milestone in international relations and provenance research, six priceless Kandyan artifacts seized during the Dutch colonial occupation of Sri Lanka have now been returned from the Netherlands.

Accordingly, these Kandyan artifacts will be on public display at the Colombo National Museum from today (Dec.05) until further notice, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

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, Vidura Wickramanayake, and the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayaka. This marked a significant step in cultural collaboration between the two nations, the PMD added.

The exhibits – the Lewke’s cannon, a Golden Kasthane, a Silver Kasthane, a Sinhalese Knife, and two Guns – had originally been 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 was the Minister of Shantha Bandara, the State for Media; Ms. Bonnie Horbach, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka; Ms. Dewi van de Weerd, the Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Maged Mosleh, the Ambassador of Egypt in Sri Lanka; Somaratne Vidanapathirana, the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs; Sajani Kasturiarachchi, the Director General of the National Museum Department and several distinguished officials from both the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.

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