Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sabah Museum told to acquire valuable cultural artifacts

KOTA KINABALU: The State Museum needs to take aggressive measures to acquire valuable cultural artifacts from the natives and preserve them before private collectors sneak them out of the country.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said it is a shame that priceless relics of our cultural heritage could not be exhibited to the younger generation and visitors as individual agents were more successful in purchasing them from the locals before selling them to foreign collectors at higher prices.

“We have received complaints from many concerned individuals who were worried that our invaluable artifacts such as Tajau which have been bought in bundles by agents would be taken out of the country and end up as private collection overseas.

“These artifacts could be lost and our younger generation would never see them. So, I strongly urge the State Museum to take proactive measures and do the same as these agents, which is to go into villages to find and purchase artifacts that are for sale,” he said, speaking at the opening of North Borneo Sacred Legacy Photographic Exhibition II at State Museum here yesterday.

According to Masidi the agents buys artifacts from villagers for as low as RM50 to RM100 before selling them for tens of thousands of ringgit a piece to wealthy collectors outside the country.

“These agents love going into the villages to hunt for artifacts because the market is there. For them making big money out of our artifacts is one issue, but more importantly many of these important artifacts will be lost and our younger generation may not have the chance to ever see them,” he said.

Continue reading at: Sabah Museum told to acquire valuable cultural artifacts

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