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auction Sikh Guru's body armour

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Vikram singh, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Vikram singh

    Vikram singh
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    LUDHIANA: A rare piece of body armour that experts believe belonged to the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, would be auctioned in one of London's most prestigious auction houses, Sotheby's, next month.

    Only a few days ago, an untitled work by M F Hussain fetched $ 409,000 during Sotheby's New York spring sales of Indian art. Meanwhile, the Sikh Guru's inscribed steel armour plate would be auctioned in Sotheby's Arts of the Islamic World Sale that the auction house has termed as the "most important of its kind the company has ever staged" on April 9.

    The auction, first of its kind offering a relic belonging to a Sikh Guru, comes at a time when the interest in Sikh heritage among art collectors and connoisseurs of Sikh heritage across the globe is growing, said Amandeep Singh Madra, a London-based art historian, who specialises in Sikh art and heritage.

    Sikh heritage objects have been realising impressive prices in recent times. The most remarkable example was that of the marble bust of Maharaja Duleep Singh. In an auction held at Bonham's in April 2007, it was bought for £1.7 million, much above the expected price of £30,000.

    The plate, which would be included in the Arms, Armour and Militaria section of the sale, has an estimate of 10,000-12,000 pounds, according to a Sotheby's release.

    The steel plate would originally have been part of a set of body armour known by its Persian name, 'char-aina' (four mirrors) comprising back, front, and two side plates, Madra said
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    I am getting kind of upset. This is about art and history. But it also about a religious relic and a culturally important artifact. No different from the artifacts that are protected by national and international laws because they have no price -- they belong to the culture and the people of Northern India of Guru's time and to the followers of the Sikh faith. As with Egyptian, South American, Mexican icons and religious objects from the past. So why would these items not be repatriated? Someone please explain.
     
  4. Sikh Warrior

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    hi,
    I agree to you and it also depends does the person who buys it will respect it or not.
     
  5. spnadmin

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    Well there are 2 threads going on this now. Of late the SGPC has petitioned the English government to intervene and stop the auction. The argument being that these are relics and should be protected in the same way that artifacts from ancient civilizations are protected by international law. They should be restored to the culture/country/institutions where they originated. Ideally these relics of Sri Guru Gobind Singh would be returned to the Punjab and preserved in a museum or other institution aligned with Sikhism.
     
  6. Sikh Warrior

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    We wish to stop the auction and handover the things to the punjab goverment to take care of. OR the thing should only be auctioned within the sikhs who can take care of that. PLEASE is there any way we can do that?
     
  7. spnadmin

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    Sikh Warrior

    I have to go back and find the article where the SGPC stepped in -- to see what the actual details were. So far I have not had any luck.

    As for a political action strategy -- that is a really good idea. But not something I know how to do. The forum members could start thinking about who and how to place pressure.

    Also, when is the auction schedule? Is there time?

    But yes I was really upset when I read about this auction.
     
  8. spnadmin

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  9. spnadmin

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  10. dalsingh

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    If you look at the armour from the Patiala family that is reputed to have been given by Guru Gobind Singh it is almost identical to the one being auctioned at Sothbys.

    Given the fact that behind this is someone (probably British) who is trying to make money, it is not surprising that the fact it might be Guru Ji's is being played down. I've met Madra and one thing I can say about him is that he is passionate about preserving Sikh heritage, whatever unorthodox view he may have of Sikh history.
     
  11. dalsingh

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    Another thing is that the section being sold is part of a four piece set. I wonder if the seller has the other 3 pieces and is trying to sell it bit by bit to make a higher profit.
     
  12. spnadmin

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    And now this story

    Sikh guru’s armour is safe, says Patiala royal family

    April 2nd, 2008 - 10:00 pm ICT by admin - [​IMG] Email This Post
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    Patiala/Amritsar, April 2 (IANS) The erstwhile royal family of Patiala has disputed the claim that a steel armour put up for auction by Sotheby’s belonged to the Sikhs’ revered 10th guru, Gobind Singh. Preneet Kaur, Patiala’s member of parliament, Wednesday told reporters that the original armour of the guru was kept in the safe custody of the gurudwara at the New Moti Bagh palace of the erstwhile royal family.
    Preneet Kaur is the wife of former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh - the scion of one of the most famous royal families of Punjab.

    “The armour has been kept in the safe custody in the gurudwara here and is being given reverence. We are lucky that such an important part of Sikh history is still with us,” Preneet Kaur said.
    She demanded that the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) - the apex organisation that looks after Sikh religious affairs - order a probe into how the other armour, which is being auctioned by Sotheby’s, reached Britain in the first place.

    SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar was Wednesday livid with the London-based Sotheby’s going ahead with the auction of the armour April 9.

    “We have written to our prime minister and Britain’s prime minister. We have also written to Britain’s religious heads that Sotheby’s should be stopped from auctioning anything that is part of any religion’s history,” Makkar told a regional TV channel.

    A Sotheby’s spokesman said Tuesday that the auction house never claimed that the armour belonged to the 10th Sikh guru. He went on to add that had the armour really been that of the guru, the auction house would have priced it much more than 10,000 pounds that it was demanding.

    “How dare the auction house say that they would have sold our guru’s armour for a higher price? They have no right to sell anything that is part of Sikh history,” Makkar said.

    The SGPC has already constituted a team of experts who will go to London shortly to find out to whom owned the armour that is now being auctioned.

    Even as Sikhs in Punjab and elsewhere protested against the auction, some Sikh organizations said they would bid for the armour if Sotheby’s went ahead with the auction.

    Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, Monday to get the auction stopped.

    Sikh guru’s armour is safe, says Patiala royal family - Thaindian News

    Personally, I am pleased that SGPC is going to explore the provenance of the armour to be auctioned. But what do you forum jios make of this story?
     
  13. Sikh Warrior

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    Hi,
    I would really appreciate if some one is coming front to stop the auction.
     
  14. spnadmin

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    So would I appreciate it. I can't tell from the news stories at this point.
     
  15. Sikh Warrior

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    YA right but atleast some people are trying to stop it. so its not tht we are taking it lightly. We are SIKHs we will ty are level best to do everything.
     

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