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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Hidden treasures

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Sat, May 8 2010   /  09:49 am

The much-awaited auction of more than 270,000 pieces of 11 century-old artifacts retrieved from a shipwreck in Cirebon and the recent finding of 12,400 items of ancient Chinese ceramics in neighboring Subang waters only confirms the country’s rich in undersea treasures, which may have long been overlooked.There are an estimated 3 million undiscovered shipwrecks spread across the oceans, including in Indonesian waters, tempting maritime treasure hunters to dive deep in the sea for a bounty.The price tag of the auctioned historical items has been set at US$80 million, and with the proceeds to be evenly shared between the government and the finders, including Belgian Luc Heymans’ Cosmix Underwater Research Ltd., it can be imagined how lucrative the industry is.An Australian underwater treasure hunter who was recently declared a fugitive by the police for illegal salvage work of Chinese ...