MIRI: Antique collectors in the state have been asked to register their antiques with the Sarawak Museum Department.
Art museum curator (enforcement section) Dayang Morzanah Awang Haddy said this is necessary under the Sarawak Cultural Heritage Ordinance 1993, to prove their ownership.
She said the free antiquity registration also helps the museum to collect data and keep track of antiquity ownerships.
“Perhaps, there may be some misunderstanding by the general public towards the purpose of this licence; we need to clarify that the certifi cate of registration of the antiquity could be viewed as a legal entity.
“In terms of protection and security, this data is vital because if unfortunately the antique gets lost or stolen, we can trace its whereabouts by checking at relevant places.
Meanwhile, on educational purposes, should there be any research relating to these antiques, we could approach the owners to gain permission,” she said during a seminar on Friday.
She highlighted various licences issued under the Sarawak Cultural Heritage Ordinance 1993, including the antique dealer’s licence, licence to export antiquity and licence to excavate and search antiquities.
The licences cost RM131, RM81 and RM200 respectively.
“Currently, the department has issued over 55 antique dealer’s licences throughout the state, of which three of the licences are based in Miri.
The licence enables us to continue to monitor these dealers and to prevent fraud activity like selling imitation products,” she explained.
She added that the licence to export antiquity helps to protect historical heritage, as it prohibits the export of any antiquity from Sarawak without legal documents.