The Insider's Guide to: Treasured Cargo of the Batavia- rubbish worth millions

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Before dawn on the morning of June 4, 1629, the Dutch East India Company ship Batavia struck a reef at the Abrolhos Islands, some 70 kilometres off the Western Australian coast. More than seven months earlier the ship had left the Netherlands to make its way to the city of Batavia (present-day Jakarta), carrying silver, gold and jewels and 341 passengers and crew. During the shipwreck, 40 of them drowned. The others found safety on a nearby island, but had to fear for their lives once more when a small group of mutineers turned on the survivors and brutally killed 115 men, women and children. This lecture will not only discuss the shipwrecking of the Batavia, the mutiny and the cruel massacre that followed, but will pay particular attention to the ship’s precious cargo of jewellery, antiquities, silver tableware and furniture, some of which never reached its intended destination (India), but was recovered from the shipwreck in the 1970s.

The presenter : Arvi Wattel is a lecturer in the History of Art at UWA (School of Design). Before moving to Perth, he held fellowships at the Fondazione Ermitage in Ferrara, the Kunsthistorisches Institut (Max Planck Gesellschaft) in Florence, the Dutch Institute for Art History in Florence and the Royal Netherlandish Institute in Rome, and lectured at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the University of Maastricht and for Oberlin College in Arezzo.

This course will be held at The University Club of Western Australia.
Tea and coffee will be served in the break.