How Singapore Acquired the Tang Shipwreck Treasures

with Alvin Chia

7pm Wednesday,19 August


The shipwreck was discovered in Indonesian waters in 1998 by a sea cucumber fisherman.  Between two monsoon seasons in 1998 and 1999, the treasures were recovered from the seabed of a coral reef. In between the two seasons, some artifacts were stolen but were heroically recovered.  Many were found in pristine condition having being protected by sand for over a thousand years.

About the Speaker

Alvin Chia, President of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society (2008-2011) will speak on how the Singapore Government acquired the coveted Tang Shipwreck treasures from the Belitung Shipwreck in 2005 against strong competition from  museums in China and the Middle East.

Alvin will take us through the challenges of the acquisition such as authenticity, rights of ownership and valuation.  He will relate the stories behind the fund-raising effort that led to the generous donation that made the purchase possible. He will reveal  never-before seen pictures of the secret storeroom in an apple farm in New Zealand at which the ceramics were desalinated and share interesting stories behind some the key pieces. Come join us at 7pm on 19 Aug 2020 on ZOOM™.  This is a Members’ Only meeting. Members will receive an invitation with the log-in details.