India cooperates with Myanmar on Bagan restoration

India commits to helping with the restoration and repair of some of the temples in Bagan.

Implementation of the project will further strengthen India’s enduring ties in culture and religion with Myanmar. It will also generate immense goodwill for India among the people of Myanmar due to the religious significance as well as the

Source: Cabinet approves MoU with Myanmar for the Conservation of Earthquake-Damaged Pagodas at Bagan | Business Standard News
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Looking for Myanmar’s forgotten royals in Ratnagiri

Tracking the descendants of Myanmar’s last monarch, King Thibaw, in Ratnagiri, India

Descendants of the last king of Burma still live in Maharashtra. Shorn of the royal grandeur, they say they are only namesake royals

Source: In search of princess Phaya: Looking for Myanmar’s forgotten royals in Ratnagiri | weekend | Hindustan Times

Bronze goddess statue returned to India

The Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore has officially handed the 11th century bronze statue of Uma to India, after it was identified as stolen during the investigation of antiquities dealer Subash Kapoor.

Returned bronze statue of Uma. Source: Straits Times 20151106
Returned bronze statue of Uma. Source: Straits Times 20151106

Asian Civilisations Museum hands back sculpture identified as stolen to India
Straits Times, 06 November 2015

Asian Civilisations Museum returns 11th century sculpture to India
Today, 07 November 2015

The Asian Civilisations Museum has returned to the Indian authorities an 11th-century bronze sculpture in its possesion, which has been identified as stolen from India.

The museum had last month informed the Archaeological Survey of India and the High Commission of India to Singapore of its plan to return the religious icon depicting the Hindu goddess Uma Parameshwari.

The sculpture is among hundreds of stolen cultural artefacts amounting to over $148 million in an ongoing international art smuggling case. They are believed to have been looted and sold to museums by disgraced New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor, 65, who is awaiting trial in India on charges of theft and smuggling.

Full story here and here.

Asian Civilisations Museum to return statue to India

After a formal request by the government of India, the Asian Civilisations Museum will return a bronze statue of Uma Parameshvari, which was identified as stolen in the recent high-profile antiquities looting case of Subhash Kapoor.

Statue of Uma Parameshvari to be returned by the Asian Civilisations Museum. Source: Straits Times 20151020
Statue of Uma Parameshvari to be returned by the Asian Civilisations Museum. Source: Straits Times 20151020

Asian Civilisations Museum to return ‘stolen’ 11th-century artefact to India
The Straits Times, 20 October 2015

Asian Civilisations Museum to return sculpture identified as stolen from India
Channel NewsAsia, 19 October 2015

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) said yesterday it would return a sculpture identified as stolen, upon the request of the Indian government.

‘Stolen’ artefact puts murky issues in spotlight
The Straits Times, 23 October 2015

The 11th-century bronze sculpture depicting Hindu goddess Uma Parameshvari is among hundreds of stolen cultural artefacts amounting to over $148 million in an ongoing international art smuggling case. They are believed to have been looted and sold to museums by disgraced New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor, 65, who is awaiting trial in India on charges of theft and smuggling.

In a press statement, the ACM said it had bought the sculpture from Kapoor’s now-defunct gallery Art of the Past for US$650,000 (S$900,000) in 2007.

Full story here and here.

Tussle for ‘replica’ Angkor Wat rages on

Cambodia continue to pursue diplomatic channels to prevent the construction of a Hindu temple in India’s Bihar province for its similarities to Angkor Wat. The Mahavir Mandir Trust, who is in charge of the temple’s construction argues that the request is moot since the temple is not an exact replica.

Siem Reap Reflections (CAMBODIA/REFLECTION/ANGKOR WAT) III

India urged to stop Angkor Wat ‘replica’ plan
New Kerala, 11 August 2015

Cambodia rakes up Angkor Wat replica issue with India
Business Standard, 11 August 2015

India Urged Again To Halt Angkor Wat Replica
Khmer Times, 11 August 2015

Kesariya temple not a replica of Angkor Wat
The Times of India, 11 August 2015

Request to Stop Indian Temple Moot as Not Angkor Wat Copy
Cambodia Daily, 12 august 2015

Temple ‘will not be Angkorian’
Phnom Penh Post, 12 August 2015

Temple in Bihar not ‘exact replica’ of Angkor Wat
IANS, via Web India, 14 August 2015

India pivots eastwards to Southeast Asia

A conference was held last week in New Delhi on the cultural links between India and Southeast Asia with the aim of establishing research links between India and Southeast Asia.

India, Asean reconnect through ancient cultural linkages
Daijiworld.com, 23 July 2015

“Political security and economic cooperation must go hand in hand with the socio-cultural connection and people-to-people linkages,” he said.

Citing examples, he said that excavations have found evidence of Indian links in the first century AD in Myanmar in the city of Beikthano, also known as City of Vishnu. Coins, statues of Hindu deities, and statues of the Buddha have been found.

In central Thailand, evidence of Indian influence is found through Dvaravati form of representing the Buddha, in the 2nd century AD, which is derived from Indian Amaravati and Gupta styles, which were integrated with local art.

In Cham, in southern Vietnam, there is evidence of extensive influence of Indian culture, through many ancient Shiva temples.

Evidence has been found of extensive trade with the Southeast Asian countries from the Gupta dynasty in the 4th-6th century AD. Tamralipti, an ancient Indian city in the Bay of Bengal, was a busy centre of maritime trade, with ships travelling to the Malay peninsula, the Nicobar islands and to the Strait of Malacca.

Trade with the Asean is an important aspect of India’s links with the region, and India is its fourth largest trading partner, he said.

Full story here.

Cambodia protests against replica temple in India

Cambodia raises an official complaint to India over the construction of a temple in Bihar, which is modeled after Angkor Wat and designed to be larger than in. The basis for the Cambodian protest is that Angkor Wat is a symbol of the country itself (it is on the flag after all), and the replica temple will diminish that status – and also draw away tourist dollars.

Angkor ‘copy’ raises ire
Phnom Penh Post, 08 June 2015

Cambodia lodges protest with India over Angkor Wat replica
Hindustan Times, 07 June 2015

Cambodia lodges protest with India over Angkor Wat replica
IBN Live, 07 June 2015

Angkor ‘replica’ plan angers Cambodia
Bangkok Post, 06 June 2015

Cambodia protests India’s plan to build replica of iconic Angkor Wat Temple
Xinhua, 06 June 2015

Angkor Wat Is No. 1 Landmark, But Indian Copy Inspires Fear
Cambodia Daily, 05 June 2015

Cambodian Government worried about Bihar’s Viraat Ramayana Temple
Bihar Prabha, 04 June 2015

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken its concerns over a large-scale “copy” of Angkor Wat to be built in Bihar, India – first mooted to a firestorm of controversy in 2012 – directly to the Indian government, asking it to intervene and put a halt to the project.

In a letter sent Saturday to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the government appealed to India to act in order to maintain “historical” diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia considers that this copy of Angkor Wat temple [built] for commercial benefit seriously violates [its] world heritage, which is a universal and exceptional value of humanity,” the letter states.

It continued: “[The Cambodian government] strongly requests that India’s Ministry of External Affairs … reconsiders the planned construction of the Angkor Wat replica in order to preserve the traditional historic relations between the two countries and our people.”

Read the Phnom Penh Post story here.

India to help renovate My Son Towers

The governments of India and Vietnam recently signed an agreement to fund a five-year restoration project at the My Son complex in Quang Nam province.

A tower at My Son. Source: Viet Nam News 20150120
A tower at My Son. Source: Viet Nam News 20150120

India to aid renovation of My Son towers
Viet Nam News, 20 January 2015

India will send experts and give a five-year subsidy of about US$2.5 million for renovation of the towers in the My Son sanctuary in the central Quang Nam province.

According to Dinh Hai, director of the Quang Nam Culture, Sports and Tourism Department, these details were included in a memorandum on preservation and renovation, signed by the leaders of the two countries last year.

Full story here.

India's replica Angkor Wat, not just bigger, but much bigger

Some more news about the Bihar Angkor Wat that will probably unsettle many Cambodians, the Bihar Mahavir Mandir Trust, which is overseeing the project announced that the temple will be increased from 222 feet at the sides to 360 feet!

Bihar’s Angkor Wat temple to be have largest spire too
PTI, via IBN Live, 27 March 2012
Continue reading “India's replica Angkor Wat, not just bigger, but much bigger”