Leiden plates in Leiden
  • Hi all,
    I was thinking about the Leiden plates yesterday and something wasn't clear for me. Anybody who knows, please clarify. When some ancient artifact- statues, plates, coins etc- are dug up, intentionally, as in archeological searches, or accidentally, as in someone digging a well and finding something- what happens to them?
    How do ancient plates (like the ones in Leiden) end up there? Arent they the property of a nation? Shouldnt they be here, in India, rather than in Netherlands? Are these sold to these museums? Is that possible, permitted? To sell something which actually belongs here?
    Does anybody know?
  • Dear All...

    Thilak- this is my reasoning (my two cents worth):

    1. Many of these excavations were carried out in the pre-independence
    era, which meant the Govt. took it 'home'.

    2. And then they were despatched to the headquarters of researchers,
    where they could be dissected at leisure. Namely places like Leiden.

    3. Or the excavations were conducted by said foreigners who promptly
    carried them away to their own respective Universities and research
    institutions- and there they stayed.

    As to why they continued to reside at their respective foreign
    homes...that one has me floored. Hmmm. (Particularly national
    treasures like the Peacock throne and the Koh-i-noor diamond)

  • Dear all...
    This is actually a very detailed topic if we go deep.
    Thilak - did you see case of nataraja.gif uploaded in our files
    section by Poo ? That answers some of your questions.
    In short, our ancient artifacts reached foreign lands due to many
    reasons including those pointed out by pavi. I forgot the exact path
    by which leyden grants went there.. unfortunately. I will let you
    know once I refer the source.
    Sivapuram nataraja was a classic example of how we can win back our
    treasures if we make a proper legal filing. Recendly, chinese govt
    got back their stolen buddhas and ming dynasty treasures by a similar
    court case.
    Why we are not doing it ? Who should do it ? when ? I don't have

    Another bitter truth : Apart from what went out of india, we were not
    even able to save those within our country. Many ancient olai
    chuvadies went to cauvery during adi perukku, many copper plates were
    sold for their metal value... this is another side of the coin.
  • Thanks G. About stolen statues, they cant be displayed on museums,
    can they? I mean. I was just wondering.. lets say a atatue gets
    abroad somehow, stolen. It reaches an auction house and can the
    museum buy such stuff from auction houses? I hope not! These buddhas,
    were they on public display?

  • Better Late than never!

    Belated Birthday Wishes Thilak & Many Many more happy returns of the Day!!!

    Keep going!! and come out with fantastic colors!!

    With Luv / Suji
  • Recently I read in an article about the Curator of Egyptian Museum trying to
    get back artefacts taken from Egypt. It was mentioned in that article, that
    as per UN conventions articles taken before 1971 need not be returned to the
    country. Any artefacts taken after 1971 should be returned and the country
    in question can approach UN for the same.


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