Balinese sculptor’s son found dead in Ubud gallery

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The body of an elderly sculptor was found dead and decaying in a gallery in Ubud on Tuesday, with authorities suspecting he had died of natural causes.

The 86-year-old man identified as I Ketut Nongos was last seen on Thursday, according to reports. Nongos works as a sculptor at the Tjokot Art Gallery in Ubud, where he was found lying on the floor.

“The victim’s body was swollen and decaying,” Ubud sub-prefecture chief I Made Tama said, said yesterday.

The authorities suspect Nongos of dying of old age and explain that his family refused to authorize an autopsy because they have already accepted his death.

Nongos is the fourth child of sculpture legend Nyoman Tjokot, who made his name when he gained international recognition in the 1930s. Tjokot’s work is widely appreciated for its unique style, and the Indonesian government awarded him the Anugrah Seni Prize in 1969. The maestro died in 1971 and his five sons, out of seven children, have carried on his legacy while adding their own flair to their sculptural designs.

Nongos’ body was found by his nephew’s wife, who was going to bring him rice. The nephew, I Made Boy Purnamajaya, said his uncle was often alone after his wife died. The couple did not have children, although Boy said he was considered a son during Nongos’ lifetime.

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