Center recovers Ganesha statue





The Mpu Purwa Historical Object Preservation Center in Malang, East Java, has recovered a 12th-century stone statue of Ganesha, believed to be the only one of its kind in Indonesia. It features a special trait not found on other Ganesha statues in Indonesia - the elephant-headed deity is seen riding atop a mouse.

"The mouse is apparently included as an animal used by Ganesha as a vehicle, but this type of statue has never been found in Indonesia before. Ganesha is usually seen riding the Lembu Nandhini cow, the Jatayu bird, or the Padmasana lotus," Malang archeologist Suwardono said Tuesday.

Other singularities of this statue, recently handed over by a private collector, include Ganesha's stiff facial expression and a badhong carving on the shoulders. The decorations worn by the god, also called samboghakaya, are also more lavish.

"The badhong strand is part of the special trait of statues inherited from the Kediri empire, from the Raja Baneswara to Kertajaya kingdoms. The most special trait is the mouse as a vehicle on the pedestal of the statue," Suwardono said.

Suwardono, a graduate of Malang State University, said he had cross-checked the statue with the National Archeology Research and Development Center in Jakarta, the Trowulan Center for Archeological Conservation and Heritage in Mojokerto, and the Archeological Center in Yogyakarta, the results of which confirmed the statue was a one-of-a-kind that had never been seen before.


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