When the Zelnik István Southeast Asian Gold Museum was opened in September 2011, the Hungarian Southeast Asian Research Institute was established to research Southeast Asian art and culture. It was founded by the arts collector and sponsor István Zelnik. The core activities of the Institute are research of the objects held in the Zelnik Collection, archaeological field work in Southeast Asia such as excavations, historical and epigraphic research and site and remote sensing surveys in relation to the excavations, organisation and supervision of activities aimed at preserving the built and natural environment. The work of the Institute is governed by a board of internationally recognised experts, its research projects are conducted by staff featuring both Hungarian and international specialists. It is a major guideline for the Institute to ensure that experts from the Southeast Asian countries concerned participate in the discovery, preservation and promotion of Southeast Asia’s heritage of buildings and objects, so researchers from Southeast Asian countries participate actively in the Institute’s governing body, as well as continually in its research projects.