Colonial Collections Consortium
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Saber Diponegoro

At the end of November, a saber of famous Indonesian resistance hero Diponegoro resurfaced in Het Loo Palace. The blade of the saber was most likely part of the personal weapon of the prince with a legendary reputation, who fought the Dutch colonial rule. The item embodies his spirit.

The weapon combines an Indonesian blade with a Dutch hilt and sheath. As such, the history of the Dutch colonial rule and the Indonesian fight for freedom collide with the weapon. General Hendrik Merkus de Kock, who ended the Java War and arrested Diponegoro in 1830, appropriated, adapted, and wore the weapon in the years after. In this light, it has been displayed in Het Loo Palace, together with a portrait of De Kock

The question of why the object has not been part of previous restitution requests emphasizes a vital point of the subject: accessibility to colonial collections (data). The history and existence of the saber were not known to both Dutch and Indonesian researchers, and thus no request has ever been made.

The Indonesian embassy was informed by Het Loo Palace of the discovery.

For further information

For more information about the saber's resurfacing, please look at this pageof Het Loo Palace.