The Indonesia National museum was founded in 1778, precisely on 24 April, during the formation of Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences. J.C.M. Radermacher, head of the association, donated a building located at Jalan Kalibesar along with a collection of books and cultural objects which later became the basis for the establishment of the museum.
In the period of British rule (1811-1816), Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who also is director of the Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences ordered the construction of a new building located at Jalan Majapahit No. 3. This building is used as a museum and meeting rooms for Literary Society (formerly named “Societeit de Harmonie”.) The location of this building is now part of the State Secretariat complex.
In 1862, after fulfilling the museum collection in Jalan Majapahit, Dutch East Indies put up a building which is still occupied. The museum building was opened to the public in 1868.
After the independence of Indonesia, Indonesian Cultural Institute which manages the museum handed over to the government of the Republic of Indonesia, on September 17, 1962. Since then the museum management done by the Directorate General of Culture, under the Ministry of Education and Culture. Starting in 2005, the National Museum is under the management of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in connection with the Directorate General of Culture moved to the environment ministry.
The National Museum also known as Elephant (Gajah) Museum because elephant statues gifts made of bronze from King Chulalongkorn of Thailand in 1871 which was then placed in the front yard of the museum. However, since May 28, 1979, the official name of this institution is the National Museum of the Republic of Indonesia.
With the style of Classicism, the National Museum building of the Republic of Indonesia is one manifestation of European influence, especially the spirit of the Enlightenment, which appears in about the 18th century when the house was built in 1862 by the government in response to the Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences association that examined the scientific Indies research.
The new wing was added in 1996 to the north of the old building. This building is called Unit B or Gedung Arca.
Elephant Museum collecting many ancient objects from all over the archipelago. Among other things belonging to the collection is the ancient statues, inscriptions, ancient artifacts and other craft items. The collection is categorized into ethnography, bronze, prehistoric, ceramics, textiles, numismatic, historical relics and precious objects.
Notes on the website National Museum of the Republic of Indonesia in 2001 showed that the collection has reached 109,342 pieces. The number of collections that make this museum is known as the most comprehensive in Indonesia. In 2006 the number of museum collections has exceeded 140,000 pieces, although only a third that can be shown to the audience.
Before the National Library building which is located at Jalan Salemba No. 27, Central Jakarta was established, Elephant Museum collection also includes ancient manuscripts. The manuscripts and other Elephant Museum collections are now stored at the National Library.
Source collection comes largely from archaeological excavations, grants collector since the Dutch East Indies and purchase. Collection of Indonesia ceramics and ethnographic collections in the museum are quite complete.
For the admission ticket, you just pay Rp 5 thousand for adults and Rp 2 thousand for the children. As for the group or groups of at least 20 people are adults charged at Rp3.000 and Rp1.000 children. Foreign tourists either children or adults are charged 10,000.
Museum, inaugurated in 1868 by the Union of Arts and Sciences Batavia, open between working days (weekdays) or holidays (weekend).
For working day Tuesday through Friday, you are allowed to walk around in at 08.00-16.00 hrs. Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, visitors can come at 08:00 to 17:00 pm. But on Monday, the museum will be closed as well as a national holiday.