Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, June 1:
A scholar said today that valuables stored in the Narayanhiti palace may have vanished and it may not be possible to turn the palace into a museum as desired by the Constituent Assembly.
“The decision to turn Narayanhiti into a museum is a welcome one, but I do not think the palace has objects to bring to light the grandeur of the Shah dynasty,” said Jala Krishna Shrestha, chairman of the Nepal Chapter of International Commission of Museums. The palace, built in 1846 by Rana Prime Minister Ranodip Kunwar, has undergone modifications. The palace got its European look in 1963.
According to newspaper reports, eight truck-loads of objects were ferried away from the palace on Thursday night. The reports said ex-officers of the palace have burnt historic documents.
Shrestha said everything related to the Shah dynasty should be accommodated in the museum. “The building, the garden, showpieces, ornaments, souvenirs, furniture, utensils, dresses and documents are all valuable for the museum,” he said.
But he does not believe that these things will be part of the proposed museum. “After reading newspapers, I hardly believe that there will be anything left except used clothes and something that the former king could not either sell or give away to his dear ones,” he said.
“The standard of the museum will depend on what all is left there. I hope Gyanendra will at least leave the crown and the scripture,” he said.
Dr Dinesh Chandra Regmi, an expert on Shah dynasty and architecture, said the museum might pave the way for in-depth study of the Shah dynasty.
“Every object and document related to monarchy and history as a whole belongs to the nation. The government should be watchful and save the objects and documents for future generations,” he said, adding that the government will be held responsible if any document or object belonging to the palace is lost.
Historian Dr Tri Ratna Manandhar said only serious talks with former king will help retrieve objects of historic importance.
[ KATHMANDU, JUNE 02, 2008, Jestha 20, 2065]