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Jakarta Post

Controversial sunken treasure auction attracts no bidders

  • Dina Indrasafitri

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 6 2010   /  10:01 am

The auction of centuries-old artifacts recently discovered on the bottom of Indonesia’s ocean floor opened Wednesday with the attendance of government officials, including two ministers and a pack of journalists  — and not a single bidder. The seats saved for bidders were left empty, forcing the organizer of the auction to call it a day only minutes after the gavel was banged.“There was an auction, but since there were no bidders, it was instantly closed,” said Sudirman Saad, the secretary-general for the recovery and usage of precious goods in sunken ships.According to him, the offer to join the auction had been open until 12 a.m., or two hours before the auction, but no registrations had been made. Thus, he said, the auction was recorded as “being conducted, but without any bidders”.More than 271,000 historical objects discovered in Cirebon waters in West Java were up ...