Netherlands returns six looted colonial-era artefacts to Sri Lanka

Cannon of Kandy

The Cannon of Kandy which originated from Sri Lanka. Two Dutch museums are handing back hundreds of cultural artifacts to Indonesia and Sri Lanka from a richly decorated cannon to precious metals and jewelry that were taken, often by force, from the countries in the colonial era. (Rijksmuseum via AP)

The Netherlands has returned six Sri Lankan colonial-era artefacts looted by the Dutch before 267 years (1756).

The official handover was made by the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka at the Bandaranaike International Airport this morning (November 29).

Accordingly, the six historical objects including the Lewke’s cannon, a Golden Kasthane, a Silver Kasthane, a Sinhalese Knife and two Guns, were ceremoniously accepted by Minister Vidura Wickremanayake at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake this morning.

At the request of Sri Lanka, the Netherlands returned the six objects of cultural significance, and the Dutch government had noted that the objects were wrongfully brought to the Netherlands during the colonial period, acquired under duress or by looting.

These items will be on public display at the National Museum in Colombo from December 05, the Embassy of the Netherlands said.