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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Returning artefacts to their owners


    by Rumbold on 9th March, 2009 at 8:59 pm    

    If someone came into your house uninvited, took an heirloom, and departed, you would make every effort to get it back, and few would question your right to do so. But what if someone had done the same thing to your great-great grandfather, one hundred years ago? Would you feel quite so confident in pursuing something that had been out of your family’s hands for five generations? What if your great-great grandfather had himself acquired the artefact in similar circumstances to how he had lost it? Would you strive to return the artefact to its original owner?

    These questions are relevant when it comes to artefacts held in countries other than that of their origin. A good example is the Koh-i-noor diamond, currently owned by the British crown. There have been renewed calls for its return to India. Yet who should it be returned to? The present state of India did not exist when the diamond left the subcontinent, while the last Indian owners (the Sikhs) no longer have their own state. Even if they did, they got it from an Afghan, who got it from a Persian, who got it from a Mughal, who got it from a Lodi, who got it from a Kakatiya. Even if we were able to trace the ancestors of its first owner (who lived in Golconda), it would presumably go to the descendants of the rulers at the time there. And again, it that fair? What if they had conquered the mine by force? Does that legitimise their claim to the diamond?

    It does not seem right that Western nations can hang onto plunder from their former colonies. But nor is there an easy system for returning many of these artefacts to their rightful owners, even if they can be identified.

    (Hat-Tip: Jai)



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    62 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Sid — on 9th March, 2009 at 9:26 pm  

      heh, a lovely can of worms.

    2. Ravi Naik — on 9th March, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

      Trouble is, Pakistan could also claim the diamond - and that’s the last thing we need right now.

      I think the diamond should probably be in a Museum.

    3. Robtherich — on 9th March, 2009 at 11:43 pm  

      You should see tis:
      http://www.redboxblues.wordress.com

    4. Leon — on 10th March, 2009 at 1:14 am  

      Heh careful Rummy you’ll be wondering about whether descendants of slaves should get reparations next (show me the money!) next…:D

    5. Vikrant — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:16 am  

      Umm… Koh-i-noor was a spoil of war, and by the rules of the day it was won fair and square even if Dalhousie disingeneously tried to portray it as a gift from Duleep Singh to the Queen.

      At any rate neither Koh-i-noor nor the assorted “gifts” by the Indian prices( which are so proudly displayed at Windsor) are ever going to be returned! So Indian and Pakistani government might as well give up their futile attempts to recover these items. At any rate judging by how India maintains its heritage buildings and museums, those gems are much safer in Tower of London rather than say… Red Fort.

    6. Kismet Hardy — on 10th March, 2009 at 5:38 am  

      If people can change where they belong (forcibly, in the case of African slaves), then why should stuff be any different? Has anyone asked the Koh-i-Noor whether it wants to be mounted on the walls of the imperial chambers of the Taj Mahal again? And what about all that glorious limestone clawed off the pyramids of Giza? It was the Egyptians wot destroyed that, not foreigners.

      Keep the koh-i-noor British!

    7. Golam Murtaza — on 10th March, 2009 at 7:32 am  

      No, send it back to where it came from! Bloody foreign jewels coming over here and outshining our indigenous jewellery…

    8. munir — on 10th March, 2009 at 9:11 am  

      Actually these artifacts are probably better preserved and cared for in the UK than they would be in their home countries.

    9. Rumbold — on 10th March, 2009 at 9:54 am  

      Heh Kismet.

      Leon:

      Heh. There is a legitimate question though about what proportion of reparations should be paid by African tribes along the coast, as they profited from selling the slaves in the first place. Once again, it is probably quite difficult to trace particular individuals and make them pay, so it might well end up being African governments who have to pay on their behalf.

    10. hindu — on 10th March, 2009 at 9:58 am  

      Jai hind

      Rumbold…

      you seem more cunning and less bold - i noticed how u included the lack of sikh state in ur para..

      anyways,,,i think the more important issue is how to get rid of india of its muslim population and send it to bangladesh or pakistan “safely”

      When partition happened 85% muslims voted for separation only 30% left

      so..thats an important question. Esp since muslims historically indulge in ethnic cleansing whereever they gain supeiorir numbers. this will be the biggest challenge for india in next 20 years.

      who cares about Koh i noor - we call our land bharat mata. it will give us more of these gifts.

      neways - ur site seems full of muslim or gora appeasement posts even if the layout is nice and attracted me here - also looks like you are more focused on UK issues - and the more that country is in mess because of all shitty semi literate south asians esp Jinaah’s muslims, the more pleased I feel.

      jo bovoge vohi paoge

      Jai hind

    11. Rumbold — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:07 am  

      Hindu:

      “you seem more cunning and less bold - i noticed how u included the lack of sikh state in ur para..”

      Was that factually incorrect? Does Khalistan in fact exist?

      “anyways,,,i think the more important issue is how to get rid of india of its muslim population and send it to bangladesh or pakistan “safely”.”

      I suggest that India would be better off by getting rid of bigots like you.

      “neways - ur site seems full of muslim or gora appeasement posts even if the layout is nice and attracted me here - also looks like you are more focused on UK issues - and the more that country is in mess because of all shitty semi literate south asians esp Jinaah’s muslims, the more pleased I feel.”

      ‘Gora appeasement posts’- sounds like a reasonably successful rock band from somewhere near the West Country.

      Most of our writers live in this country, which is why we talk a lot about UK issues.

    12. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:09 am  

      Well Hindu — as a fellow Hindu could I please tell you to fuck off from this site and not worry your puny little brain about our country.

      And a little point, you have one friend here in Britain — he is called Nick Griffin — you two would get along fine.

      The contributions Muslims make to India and UK are far more positive and greater than all the negative shit we hear about. And, sadly, every religion has idiots like you and as a Hindu, I am ashamed that any Hindu would make statements like this.

      I wonder what you think of President Kalam — who is more of an Indian than the entire VHP put topgether

      So please please fuck off.

    13. Sid — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:13 am  

      hindu seems to be the Hindu version of our resident Islamist troll who posts under the various pseudonyms of blah/munir/Ahmed/Tony/me/SE.

    14. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:15 am  

      Oi Administrators

      My comment just got deleted as I was having a go at Hindu.

      Who do I blame gents?

    15. Rumbold — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:18 am  

      Sorry Shamit- I have no idea why that happened.

    16. Sid — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:20 am  

      Shamit/Rumbold, spambot chewed it up. I have recovered it

    17. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:22 am  

      “anyways,,,i think the more important issue is how to get rid of india of its muslim population and send it to bangladesh or pakistan “safely””

      India would be better of getting rid of you and similar assholes — may be find some island in the Andamans and drop you off — so that you can’t come back to the main land.

      “ur site seems full of muslim or gora appeasement posts”

      Damn — Picklers we must be doing something right as we have pissed off the nutters across the board — BNP, the idiotic Islamic nutters as well as the HIndu ones.

      Hindu, I suggest you go and indulge in your fantasies somewhere else — we really don;t like your kind here.

    18. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:22 am  

      thanks guys

    19. hindu — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:26 am  

      wow - seems like i have rattled your empty belief system - my hindu friends, i hope i havent jeopardized ur jobs as bloggers here!

      i hv no intention to do that..

      wont write anymore

      have fun - haha

    20. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:28 am  

      Good riddance to BAD RUBBISH

    21. Rumbold — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:31 am  

      Hindu:

      “wow - seems like i have rattled your empty belief system.”

      No, not really.

      “my hindu friends, i hope i havent jeopardized ur jobs as bloggers here!”

      No, not really.

      “wont write anymore”

      Okay.

    22. hindu — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:32 am  

      btw on president kalam n rahman etc..

      i mentioned something about in my post here

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/3441#comment-153368

      why dont you read it - you may hv to read it 4-5 times to understand it = thats is if u r for real!

      I see ur comments and the quickness and denouncing and all and i wonder if some of u are those $1 per hr writers one gets from india on sites like rentacoder etc..i hope not!

      take care

      good riddance!! for both of us :)

    23. Sid — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:35 am  

      what to do? we are like that, only.

    24. platinum786 — on 10th March, 2009 at 10:58 am  

      I think these things should be returned. They where robbed from those countries by Britain. Take the example of the Chinese satutues and Gandhi’s property which was recently sold at auction.

    25. munir — on 10th March, 2009 at 12:02 pm  

      Sid
      “hindu seems to be the Hindu version of our resident Islamist troll who posts under the various pseudonyms of blah/munir/Ahmed/Tony/me/SE.”

      Hardly Sid. I have never called for the ethnic cleansing of genocide of anybody as hindu has.

      You seem upset because I point out your errors, contradictions and often sheer ignorance. Hence trying to ban me.

    26. Sid — on 10th March, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

      You seem upset because I point out your errors, contradictions and often sheer ignorance. Hence trying to ban me.

      You’ve been posting freely, I’m not trying to ban you at all. The only thing you have pointed out, in fact revealed for all to see, is that when you post in antisemitic abuse under other names such as “blah/munir/Ahmed/Tony/me/SE”, it shows how cowardly, weird and nasty Southasian Muslims can be.

    27. Jai — on 10th March, 2009 at 12:40 pm  

      Thanks for posting this article, Rumbold.

      It’s a tricky situation, as Sid alluded to in comment #1.

      Personally I think it should be returned to the Sikhs back in India — as the last ‘owners’ of the jewel — and if any of the previous ‘owners’ have a beef with that, they can subsequently take it up with the authorities in Amritsar and/or the Indian Government.

      Of course, physically removing it from the royal crown will be a bit of a blow to the egos of quite a few people here in Ol’ Blightly, not to mention the symbolism of the act, so it’ll require a bit of humility and introspection on the part of everyone concerned first. I expect there would be a fair degree of outraged indignation and resistance if it really did come to actually prising the Koh-i-noor out so that it could be handed it over to those uppity Indians who don’t know their damn place anymore.

      It does not seem right that Western nations can hang onto plunder from their former colonies.

      Someone in the Times article comments thread mentioned that, after their defeat and the collapse of the Third Reich, the Nazis were force to return everything they’d looted, so the same should apply to Britain. It’s a very good point, and like I said before, the main hurdle will be people having to swallow their pride.

      (There was a good discussion on ‘The Big Question’ on Sunday morning about whether the British Empire is something modern-day Brits should be proud of, by the way. Some of the issues concerned are obviously related to those involving the return of the Koh-i-noor, I think).

    28. Jai — on 10th March, 2009 at 12:48 pm  

      Vikrant,

      Umm… Koh-i-noor was a spoil of war, and by the rules of the day it was won fair and square

      Not necessarily, mate. Here are a couple of pertinent extracts from the main Times article:

      But very soon, as The Times reported, questions were asked about whether the diamond’s acquisition was entirely legal. The Punjab had been an independent state, acting as a buffer between the territories of the East India Company and hostile Afghanistan. After the two Sikh wars of the 1840s, as this 1862 report explains, it came under British rule:

      It has been questioned whether the annexation of the Punjab was right or desirable …

      and…..

      Questions were asked in Parliament, and The Times summarised the discussion in this slightly inconclusive leading article:

      Property captured in war may devolve by conventional regulations on the actual captors, on the force present in the field, on the whole army at large, on the General commanding, on the victorious State, or on its Sovereign. There are precedents for all these decisions. In the case of the Lahore jewels the circumstances were somewhat remarkable.

      The battle of Sobraon in 1846 gave us possession of the Punjab, and if Lord Hardinge had marched from the banks of the Sutlej to the gates of Lahore and Umritsir in the guise of a conqueror, the treasures of these cities might have been considered as lawful prize-money. But we conceived our duties to have been accomplished by the defeat of the invaders, and were preparing to retire after having driven them into their own territories, when they earnestly desired us to occupy the Punjab in the capacity of protectors until order could be restored. This we consented to do, and though the Sikh capital was for that purpose garrisoned by British troops,its treasures remained in the possession of their original owners.

      So stood matters till 1848, when, upon its becoming apparent that the Sikh chiefs were bent upon hostilities, the political agent at Lahore gave directions to the officer in command of the garrison to impound the Koh-i-noor - an order which was executed accordingly, without bloodshed or commotion. The property, in short, as Lord Ellenborough [Governor-General] justly phrases it, was “taken possession of”.

      But was it thus constituted lawful prize? It was no part of the spoils either of a well-fought field or a captured city - it was property seized under a kind of embargo, and, indeed, it can hardly be said that at this particular period we were justified in asserting more than a precautionary lien upon these effects. The Lahore Government was still making professions of submission and amity, nor was it yet clear whether the insurrection was the deliberate work of the Sirdars in Council, or whether it was confined to the ambition of a single feudatory at Mooltan. Under these circumstances, though the property in question certainly passed into the “possession of Her Majesty’s forces and the troops of the East India Company during the late campaigns in the Punjab,” we think it may admit of doubt whether it became incontinently such “booty” as Lord Ellenborough would describe it.

    29. munir — on 10th March, 2009 at 1:16 pm  

      Jai

      “Personally I think it should be returned to the Sikhs back in India — as the last ‘owners’ of the jewel —

      Says…. a Sikh!!!

      Itd be a like an extremist Muslim saying “Personally I think India should be returned to the Muslims since before the British came they were its owners”

      “and if any of the previous ‘owners’ have a beef with that, they can subsequently take it up with the authorities in Amritsar and/or the Indian Government.”"

    30. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 1:17 pm  

      Jai

      Then why not give it back to the Persians ie Iranians.

      They would love it — wouldn’t they? If we (Brits) give it to India — Pakistan would make a claim and Iran would also rightfully make a claim.

      So, I would say leave it with the Crown — as the Crown still is the Head of the Commonwealth and lets move on

      What do you think?
      ***********************************
      Munir

      Could you please stop trying to use religious crap and derail all threads? For god’s sake — no one but you are the bigot and if you haven’t realised then I guess you are thick and insensitive and an asshole

      Stop it.

    31. Rumbold — on 10th March, 2009 at 1:21 pm  

      Jai:

      Thanks for sending me the link.

      But as others have said, why return it to the Sikhs when they weren’t the original owners? And even if we did so, who do we return it to? The state government of Punjab and Haryana? The descendants of the Sikh rulers?

    32. Jai — on 10th March, 2009 at 1:35 pm  

      Shamit & Rumbold,

      Simply because they were the most recent owners, like I said. It just solves the problem in the most simple way. Regarding previous owners, well again as I said, they can fight it out with the Sikhs/the Indian Government, but it wouldn’t be the Brits’ problem anymore.

      And even if we did so, who do we return it to? The state government of Punjab and Haryana? The descendants of the Sikh rulers?

      I would suggest joint, simultaneous discussions with both the Indian Government and (in lieu of the now-defunct Sikh royal family of Lahore) the Sikh authorities in Amritsar.

    33. Rumbold — on 10th March, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

      Jai:

      But we know that it was owned by the Afghans, Persians, and two Indian dynasties before then. So we should give it to the Indian government who can then decide whether to return it to the Telugu royals.

    34. Jai — on 10th March, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

      Shamit,

      Munir

      Could you please stop trying to use religious crap and derail all threads? For god’s sake — no one but you are the bigot and if you haven’t realised then I guess you are thick and insensitive and an asshole

      Stop it.

      Thanks mate. Agreed.

      ********************************

      Munir/Blah,

      If you’re this desperate for attention from complete strangers then perhaps you’d be better off doing a streak at one of the impending international cricket matches this summer. You may think that your sadistic little barbs aimed at various commenters on this blog have been hitting their targets, but in reality the only person you’ve consistently been humiliating is yourself.

      Hopefully you have enough of a sense of self-preservation not to get some kind of masochistic enjoyment out of being an object of pity and ridicule, so give it a rest, for the sake of your own dignity and self-respect.

    35. Jai — on 10th March, 2009 at 1:44 pm  

      PS Shamit,

      So, I would say leave it with the Crown — as the Crown still is the Head of the Commonwealth and lets move on

      What do you think?

      Well, I obviously disagree ;)

      Actually this whole thing really is a can of worms, as Sid said. For example, there are quite a few other ’stolen’ artifacts and ’spoils of war’ from India dotted around the UK. You should visit Clive of India’s former residence for an example.

    36. munir — on 10th March, 2009 at 2:45 pm  

      Jai
      “Munir/Blah,

      If you’re this desperate for attention from complete strangers then perhaps you’d be better off doing a streak at one of the impending international cricket matches this summer. You may think that your sadistic little barbs aimed at various commenters on this blog have been hitting their targets, but in reality the only person you’ve consistently been humiliating is yourself.

      Hopefully you have enough of a sense of self-preservation not to get some kind of masochistic enjoyment out of being an object of pity and ridicule, so give it a rest, for the sake of your own dignity and self-respect.”

      Oh dear Jai. When I prick the bubble of you and others pomposity and ignorance and expose your underlining pro-Sikh anti-Muslim bigotry you really dont like it do you. Seriously I love how you attack Muslim Orthodoxy whilst being a dyed in the wool Sikhist.
      The condemnation of an alternative Guru in your rants about Aurangzeb (may God be pleased with him) to your own reveals, how orthodox and fundamntalist you are.

      Its funny that rather like Sid you arent able to engage the arguments so play the man.

    37. Vikrant — on 10th March, 2009 at 2:47 pm  

      Regarding previous owners, well again as I said, they can fight it out with the Sikhs/the Indian Government

      Jai, Koh-i-Noor will always be a part of Indian heritage regardless of who owns it. To be honest, assorted Indian artefacts in UK, are in far better conserved than in India itself. I was in Agra last December, and Taj Mahal, especially with all the haggling and shit around is a frickin disgrace, not wort INR 780 that GoI makes us foreigners pay.

    38. persephone — on 10th March, 2009 at 2:54 pm  

      I think the Indian Govt should give priority to sort out, in my mind, more pressing issues closer to home than looking to regain artefacts from abroad. That should take them at least several decades.

      I went to a sikh exhibition a few years back at the V&A and it was a veritable treasure trove of artefacts. I believe some had been shipped over but not all.

    39. persephone — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:02 pm  

      I would not expect the Queen to remove the Koh in Noor diamond - she can just return it (to which country it belongs) by returning the crown - after all the British Raj no longer exists.

      Anyhow, it would be more interesting as to what would happen to it if the monarchy were to disintegrate in the future.

    40. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

      “Anyhow, it would be more interesting as to what would happen to it if the monarchy were to disintegrate in the future.”

      The British Museum - how’s that?

      **************************************

      Jai

      I completely understand your thoughts and feelings about this. Don’t necessarily agree though. Because, its not really that big of a deal and I share Vikrant’s thoughts.

      I went to Nalanda University site a few years back and I was horrified the way it has been maintained. It has a become a den for criminals and not really preserved.

      So I do not have strong feelings about it. But about 15 years back they should have done the deal — will return Kohinoor for Tendulkar. Would have supported that big time.

    41. Vikrant — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:32 pm  

      Exactly Shamit! My bleedin’ frat house is better maintained than your average Indian heritage site!

    42. persephone — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:34 pm  

      “The British Museum - how’s that?”

      Would prefer a worldwide roadshow/exhibition - a stint in the countries that are part of its provenance. That way all get to see it including those who cannot afford to travel globally

    43. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

      Vikrant — are you a TKE by any chance

      Better not be a sigma pi or some crap like that

    44. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:47 pm  

      Perse

      Good idea -

    45. Vikrant — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:51 pm  

      Oh lol, i’m a ZBT! You’re a TKE? The ones on my campus are pretty chill and a diverse bunch :D. My campus i think has one of their oldest chapters!

    46. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:55 pm  

      Yeah I am -

      Been one for now I guess 17 odd years.

    47. Vikrant — on 10th March, 2009 at 3:57 pm  

      You went to school in the US or do they have TKE in UK?

    48. Shamit — on 10th March, 2009 at 4:01 pm  

      Went to school in the US. No, I don’t think the fraternity thing would go down very well in Europe at all.

      I think almost all fraternities have made it across to Canada and I think thats where it would stop.

    49. Sid — on 10th March, 2009 at 4:05 pm  

      Its funny that rather like Sid you arent able to engage the arguments so play the man.

      Is it my fault if fascists and their fellow travellers such as you don’t have arguments?

    50. Jai — on 10th March, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

      Persephone,

      I went to a sikh exhibition a few years back at the V&A and it was a veritable treasure trove of artefacts.

      I visited that too, on a nice summer day as I remember. It was a great exhibition, wasn’t it ? :)

      she can just return it (to which country it belongs) by returning the crown

      Christ, I can’t see that happening ! “Forget the Koh-i-noor, just give us the whole damn crown !”

      *****************

      Vikrant & Shamit,

      To be honest, assorted Indian artefacts in UK, are in far better conserved than in India itself.

      I completely understand your thoughts and feelings about this. Don’t necessarily agree though. Because, its not really that big of a deal and I share Vikrant’s thoughts.

      Actually there are numerous heritage sites (and their associated historical artefacts) in India which have been very well maintained, especially those which are major tourist destinations. I guess it would depend on exactly where you go, although I do agree with Vikrant about the dodgy activities involving ticket prices at the Taj Mahal.

    51. Jai — on 10th March, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

      Munir/Blah,

      Oh dear Jai. When I prick the bubble of you and others pomposity and ignorance and expose your underlining pro-Sikh anti-Muslim bigotry you really dont like it do you. Seriously I love how you attack Muslim Orthodoxy whilst being a dyed in the wool Sikhist.
      The condemnation of an alternative Guru in your rants about Aurangzeb (may God be pleased with him) to your own reveals, how orthodox and fundamntalist you are.

      Its funny that rather like Sid you arent able to engage the arguments so play the man.

      In psychiatric circles, behaviour such as this by you is known as ‘projection’.

    52. Vikrant — on 10th March, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

      Wow a British Asian going to school in the US, 17 years ago? Thats seriously cool. I thought i was one of a kind :(.

    53. Kismet Hardy — on 10th March, 2009 at 4:16 pm  

      A little observation made from my years of forum tourism and blog crashing

      When someone says something a bit dickish and everyone takes them to task for it, they come back with a version of this comment

      ‘O h dear, looks like I’ve really touched a nerve har har’

      Today, Hindu and Munir have done it

      (This is a free service)

    54. Vikrant — on 10th March, 2009 at 4:20 pm  

      I guess it would depend on exactly where you go, although I do agree with Vikrant about the dodgy activities involving ticket prices at the Taj Mahal.

      Yeah i’d agree. It gets worse especially if you travel with white friends =/. Rajasthan on the whole was a lot better. Now my Rajput clansmen can teach other Indians a thing or two in heritage conservation… haha… jk. Well i guess it also depends on whether the place is privately maintained (as in case of Rajasthan) or not. Also sometimes you do stumble upon remote and barely advertised monuments which are in perfect condition.

      I accidently stumbled upon a small Portuguese fort by the Arabian sea on the drive from Bombay to Goa. It had apparently been abandoned in 17th century after British attacked it. It seemed as if no one had been there ever since and it was in perfect condition with cannons and all!

    55. persephone — on 10th March, 2009 at 4:20 pm  

      Jai @ 50

      It was a gr8 show, especially some of the jewel encrusted ornaments - emeralds as large as conkers & the golden throne chair too was gorgeous.

      Bit about returning the whole crown was a bit tongue in cheek as cannot see that happening either.

    56. Jai — on 10th March, 2009 at 5:17 pm  

      Vikrant,

      NDTV are currently running a series on proposed ‘Seven Wonders of India’, which you should check out if you get that channel. I thought the episode about Jaisalmer was especially good, although generally anything focusing on historical Rajasthani sites is excellent (always great music too, as you can imagine).

      Star News have occasionally shown great travelogues on hidden gems in Rajasthan too, again accompanied by fantastic music. It’s as though one previously-unknown (and well-preserved) fort or haveli after another keeps turning up in that state.

      You may be too young to remember this (although others such as Persephone might), but during the late 90s there was a superb travelogue series on Zee TV called ‘Namaste India’. I thought the best episodes of all were those focusing on Amritsar, Agra & Fatehpur Sikri, along with a whole bunch of episodes on Rajasthan (especially Jodhpur & Jaisalmer). All extremely evocative, well-narrated, classy as hell, and again accompanied with outstanding (and sometimes very moving) music.

      *********************************

      Persephone,

      Some of the wealth displayed in that exhibition was staggering, not to mention that giant map on the wall showing the scale of the territory under the Maharajah’s rule. Being a bloke, I thought the armour & helmets (along with shields engraved in Persian) were great too.

    57. mac — on 10th March, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

      Oh for goodness sake boys just give it to Paris Hilton, I’m sure she’ll find a use for it.
      Seriously though, back to the original question in its most simple form - a can of worms indeed. Substitute ‘artefact’ with ‘land’ and where are we then?

      Perhaps there should be some sort of statute of limitations type scenario - but then who would set it?

    58. mac — on 10th March, 2009 at 5:45 pm  

      Oh for goodness sake boys and girls just give it to Paris Hilton, I’m sure she’ll find a use for it.
      Seriously though, back to the original question in its most simple form - a can of worms indeed. Substitute ‘artefact’ with ‘land’ and where are we then?

      Perhaps there should be some sort of statute of limitations type scenario - but then who would set it?

    59. hindu — on 10th March, 2009 at 7:44 pm  

      glad to see you are finally debating!!!!!

      the hammering worked at some sub concious level I guess!

    60. Vikrant — on 10th March, 2009 at 11:52 pm  

      Jai,

      I checked out a few clips of the NDTV show, it looks fabulous! I was actually in Jaisalmer 2 months ago, tracing my family tree :). Anyhoo funnily every other tourist there was a British Indian!

    61. Jess M — on 11th March, 2009 at 11:48 am  

      So, I think the point is not to return stolen artwork and artefacts to a specific owner or group, but to, for example, a local museum where they can be appreciated.

    62. Topics about Culture » Returning artefacts to their owners — on 27th March, 2009 at 3:11 pm  

      [...] Rumbold put an intriguing blog post on Returning artefacts to their ownersHere’s a quick excerptReturning artefacts to their owners If someone came into your house uninvited, took an heirloom, and departed, you would make every effort to get it back, and few would question your right to do so. But what if someone had done the same thing to your great-great grandfather, one hundred years ago? Would you feel quite so confident in … Read the full post from Pickled Politics Tags: Culture via Blogdigger blog search for Western Cultures. [...]



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