Indonesia Criticized for Murky Rules on Sunken Treasures

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Given the country’s thousands of sprawling islands, key shipping lanes and bounty of shipwrecks, the government should immediately draft legislation on the recovery and management of sunken treasures, stakeholders said.

Last week’s lack of bidders at an auction of 10th-century ceramics and jewelry recovered from the depths was clear proof that the government had a long way to go toward managing such items, said speakers at a discussion organized by the Indonesian Heritage Trust (BPPI) in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Ratu Raja Arimbi Nurtina, a spokeswoman for the Cirebon royal family at the Kanoman Palace, said the recovered items had been taken from the waters off Cirebon, West Java, without the involvement of local residents.

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