Manual Excursion: Bank Indonesia Museum

by Julius Kensan
17th February 2017
In this series of Manual Excursion, we raided the Bank Indonesia Museum for a quick lesson on the country’s tumultuous economy and its collection of currency design from all over the world.

Is there anything to see in Bank Indonesia Museum? Surprisingly plenty. Well, it depends on what do you expect out of a museum: knowledge or just aesthetic for your social media post?

Founded by Bank Indonesia, the museum is housed in what used to be the original headquarters of De Javasche Bank, the central bank of Dutch East Indies. Here, the content of the museum is straightforward. Visitors snake through the gallery that starts with Indonesia’s history of trading, the conception of Bank Indonesia to the tragic economic crisis in 1997.

Unfortunately, the visitors one would regularly encounter here is mainly tourists, whose initial excitement gradually wane as they try to tackle the overload of information. Apart from tourists, school kids are also a regular sight. Though, they seem to be much interested in each other and their camera to be concerned with the 1997 economic crisis, an event that occurred before their existence and currently is just a page in their textbook, labeled under history.

The somehow labyrinth design of the gallery with oppressive dim lighting reminds one of a claustrophobic escape room. The corridor that overlooks the courtyard of the heritage building provides a brief calm respite, sometimes with the company of building cleaners.

But, the real treasure of the museum lies in its room of numismatic collection. For a brief moment, the currencies here are detached from its monetary value and hold in esteem it based on its designs alone.

Still, a naggy question persists. If people are obsessed with money, why isn’t Bank Indonesia Museum seeing more visitors in its establishment?

Bank Indonesia Museum
Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No.3

Operation Hours:
Mon & Public Holidays: Closed
Tues-Fri: 07.30 AM – 03.30 PM
Sat-Sun: 08.00 AM – 04.00 PM

t: 62 21 2600158