METALLICA Bass Guitar Declared State Property In Conflict-Of-Interest Case

The governor of Jakarta, Indonesia, Joko Widodo, recently had to turn over his autographed METALLICA bass guitar to the government temporarily, while authorities determined whether the instrument was merely a gift or a violation of ethics rules. Widodo received the bass from METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo, but had to give it up to the state within 30 days, according to laws regarding gifts to state officials.

According to Jakarta Globe, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has made the determination that the guitar is state property because it exceeded the Rp 300,000 limit for gifts and there was a mysterious note on the guitar, separate from Trujillo's message that said: "To Jokowi, keep playing that cool, funky bass." Jokowi is the governor's nickname.

"Because there is [a note on the guitar that reads] 'Giving Back,' which has different handwriting than Trujillo's [note]. There is someone else who added it. In Indonesian, the words could have a meaning of asking for something in return," Giri said.

Giri said that the KPK was deciding between two options of what to do with the bass. One proposal is to move it to a museum, while the other option is auctioning the bass through the Ministry of Finance.

"Jokowi can have it again but with a higher price [if he buys it at the auction]," he said.

Jokowi estimated that the guitar is worth around Rp 8 million (approximately $816). If the guitar is auctioned, people might bid billions of rupiah for the instrument.

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