Ancient coins missing from Lucknow museum
Jul 26, 2015 | Age Correspondent | LucknowThe case of the missing coins came to light when Yashwant Singh Rathore was appointed as the coin officer
Thousands of ancient coins, valued at crores of rupees in the international market, have gone missing from the state museum in Lucknow.
Seniro officials in the culture department are aware of the missing coins but are desperately trying to cover up the same.
The case of the missing coins came to light when Yashwant Singh Rathore was appointed as the coin officer in the state museum and he took charge in May 2015. Interestingly, Mr Rathore was appointed to the post in 2010, but senior officials kept him waiting for five years before finally giving him the charge.
After taking charge, the officer ordered a cataloguing and counting of coins listed in the records and found discrepancies.
For instance, in 1993, about 43,430 coins had been sent to the state museum form Bulandshahr district. When a recount was done, the number of coins had swelled to 52,000. On closer scrutiny, hundreds of coins were found to be fake.
“After this, a recounting of all coins was done and almost all of them were in excess of the amount mentioned in the records and, obviously, a large number of coins were fake,” said a junior officer.
It was also found that three bagsful of Nepal coins were missing and gold bangles brought from Mandi in Muzaffarnagar were also untraceable.
Yashwant Singh Rathore immediately informed museum director A.K. Pandey, who now says that the charges are baseless. However, he admits that he had written to the government to set up a committee to probe the matter. The coins in the state museum are those that have historical value and have been found in various excavations.
“The coins are first segregated on basis of the period to which they belong to and the valuation in the international market, and are then listed and stored. About five per cent coins are put on display and the remaining coins are stacked away in bags and it is from here that pilferage has taken place. Since the coin gallery in the museum does not have much space, a large quantity of coins remains in the stores for years and there is no effort to check them regularly,” the official said.
Source: The Asian Age