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MulticulturalNT December 2008 Precious Timor-Leste Artefacts Arrive in Darwin His Honour Mr Tom Pauling AO QC, Administrator of the Northern Territory, joined Mr Diamantino (Dino) Ribeiro, President of Darwins Portuguese and Timorese Social Club, to inspect a shipment of precious Timor-Leste artefacts being unpacked by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT). MAGNT Curator of Southeast Asian Art and Material Culture, Ms Joanna Barrkman, said the container held 47 precious cultural objects on loan from the National Collection of Timor-Leste. Over the next few months we will continue to prepare these beautiful cultural objects for the first ever international display of the National Collection of Timor-Leste since the nation gained independence in 2002, Ms Barrkman said. Ai bahat asswain, figurine of warrior, escopro da figura heroica Tais feto, womans tubeskirt, pano das mulheres The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is very honoured to be the first museum in the world to host this collection and the opportunity to present the cultural heritage of Timor-Leste. In conjunction with the National Directorate of Culture, Timor-Leste is providing a positive exchange of knowledge and skills between both institutions. MAGNT conducted a salvage operation in association with United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), saving 500 objects from the Dili museum collection following the 1999 riots when much of the Timor-Lestes cultural heritage was destroyed. It is some of these objects that the Timor-Leste government has now sent to Darwin for inclusion in the joint exhibition. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory already has considerable holdings of Timorese objects in its collection, many of which will also be displayed for the first time with the National Collection of Timor-Leste, Ms Barrkman said. President of the Darwin Portuguese-Timorese Club, Mr Diamantino Ribeiro, said the Portuguese and Timorese communities are very excited about the exhibition. With Darwin in such close proximity to Timor-Leste, events such as this are welcomed and our Timorese community in Darwin is pleased to assist developing the international profile of Timor-Leste, Mr Ribeiro said. It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to be engaged in the exhibition and for the public to learn and understand more about the culture of Timor-Leste.