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Darbhanga Maharaj’s heir objects to display of rare artefacts at Bihar Museum


Ratneshwar Singh, the heir of erstwhile king of Dharbhanga in Bihar, has objected to the Bihar Museum’s plan of displaying rare ivory and other artefacts of Darbhanga Museum in Patna.

The Bihar Museum has proposed to hold a two-month long exhibition of around 300 rare antiquities of different museums in the state, commencing at its premises from August 7, to mark its foundation day celebrations. The Bihar Museum was opened in 2018 as an autonomous body and is being run by the society.

In a letter to chief minister Nitish Kumar, Ratneshwar Singh, a grandson of late Kameshwar Singh, popularly known as Darbhanga Maharaj, said he came to know about the state government’s plan to display ivory and other artefacts donated to Darbhanga Museum at Bihar Museum.

“The exhibits of Darbhanga Museum were handed over to the state government not for taking them out for commercial or other events. Ivory and other antiquities are under the process of conservation and taking them out to other place for display might lead to damage of the rare collections,” Ratneshwar Singh said in the letter, which the HT has seen.

He said it was a faulty policy to hold the display of archaeological artefacts of other districts in Patna, as it would lead to regional disparity. “If the exhibits of Darbhanga Museum are displayed at special events, it would give impetus to tourism sector in Darbhanga,” said Singh, as he underlined the need for framing a comprehensive policy for it.

Earlier, the state government had to recall its decision to shift rare Thanka paints brought in by famous author and traveller Rahul Sankrityayan from Patna Museum to Bihar Museum in 2018 after his daughter Jaya Sankrityayan objected to the plan. Scores of Tibetan Thanka paintings, donated by the family of Rahul Sankrityayan, are under the possession of Patna Museum.

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