National Museum of Indonesia is also recognized as Elephant Museum. It’s called as Elephant Museum because there’s an elephant sculpture made of bronze medal at the front park of the museum. The sculpture was a grant from King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Thailand who visited the museum in 1871. Around the sculpture there are cannons which position are facing the National Monument (Monas).History.The founding of National Museum of Indonesia initiated by the founding of Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen association. The association was founded by the government of Holland colony on 24th April 1978. At that time, there was an intellectual revolution (the enlightment era) in Europe, wherein people start to develop science thinking. In 1752 in Haarlem, Nedherland, stand a science association (de Hollandshe Maatschappij der Wetenschappen) which urge Dutch people in Batavia (Indonesia) to found the kind of organization, which later on became Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen (BG).
One of the BG founder is JCM Radermacher who granted his house and some collections of books and cultural objects which were very important. Grants from JCM Radermacher are the basis of the museum and library founding. The increase of collections had caused Holland government built Museum in 1862 at the location where the current National Museum of Indonesia stands and it was open officially in 1868. Later on the Museum became National Museum of Indonesia.
National Museum has more than 140,000 collections consist of prehistoric collection, archeological collection, foreign ceramic collection, numismatic/heraldic collection, colonial collection, ethnographical and geographic collection. Archeological collections of National Museum of Indonesia are in the forms of cultural objects from the era of Hinduism and Budhaism, which better known as Indonesian classic era. Some of the objects are statue of Hindu’s Gods and Bhuda. Most of the collections collected at the Holland colonial era, which was obtained through military and science expedition, somebody’s grant, consignment and purchasing.
The exhibition hall in National Museum of Indonesia consists of two parts, exhibition hall in the Gajah (Elephant) Building and the one in Arca (Statue) Building. Exhibition Hall in the Gajah Building still maintains the arrangement system as in the colonial era, while the one in Arca Building is a new building with a thematic arrangement to present the whole aspects Indonesian people life. Exhibition hall in Arca Building has four levels; level one presents the human and environment theme; level two of scientific, economical and technological theme; level three of social organization and thinking pattern theme; and level four presents the collections of gold and foreign ceramic.
- To visit National Museum of Indonesia you can ride either taxi or bus. If you choose to ride a bus, it’s recommended to ride Trans Jakarta Busway for your comfort. Busway with Blok M to Kota Tua route will pass through the Museum. You can get off at the National Monument (Monas) station. National Museum of Indonesia is located at the cross side of Monas bus stop.