Author Topic: Punjab Government Buys Duplicate Coins for Double Price for a Museum  (Read 741 times)

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Offline Bimat

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Original Sikh coins in kitty, yet govt pays double for duplicates

Posted at: Feb 23, 2018, 1:21 AM; last updated: Feb 23, 2018, 1:21 AM (IST)

Vishav Bharti
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 22


When the collection of original Sikh coins is available at half the price in the open market, the Punjab Government has paid lakhs of rupees to a private firm just for minting duplicate coins. These coins will be placed at the upcoming Sikh Coins Museum at Gobindgarh Fort.

For building interiors of the museum, the then SAD-BJP government had given a contract for Rs 5.5 crore to a Delhi-based firm. The contract also included Rs 20 lakh for supplying duplicates of around 400 coins related to the Sikh history.

The decision has raised eyebrows. According to numismatics, most of the original Sikh coins in copper are available anywhere between Rs 150 and Rs 200 and silver coins between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500.

Experts say that barring a few rare coins, even if government purchases the entire collection of Sikh coins from the open market it won’t cost more than Rs 10 lakh. The Gobindgarh Fort museum will display coins from 1765 onwards, when Sikh “misls” started issuing their own coins.

Besides, a large collection of original Sikh coins is gathering dust in state museums. The number is so high that the department is finding it difficult to find place to display these. One of the largest collections of Sikh coins is at Patiala’s Sheesh Mahal.

The government decision not only indicates towards inappropriate expenditure, but is also against the spirit of museology.

A Chandigarh-based eminent numismatist, who has written several books on numismatics, said in the discipline of studies of museums it also amounts to misguiding people. “I have seen the museums across the world but nowhere have I come across a museum showcasing duplicate items. Can you really call the place museum if it doesn’t showcase original artefacts,” he said.

Rameshwar Dutt, an archaeologist and president of the Global Numismatics and Philately Society, said it was a known fact that often collectors and numismatists or their families are keen to donate or give their collections to government museums on loans for just acknowledgement of their contribution. “It seems that the government has been taken for a ride by unscrupulous elements,” he said.

Another concern raised by numismatists is that it is a case in which government itself is promoting minting of duplicate coins.

 “Once the suppliers are ready with dies, they will create havoc in the market by supplying fake Sikh coins,” said Dutt.

Minister for Cultural Affairs and Tourism Navjot Singh Sidhu could not be contacted.

Source: Tribune India
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Offline Bimat

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Punjab Government Buys Duplicate Coins for Double Price for a Museum
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 08:40:24 AM »
I wasn't too sure about where to post this funny news. If some other board is more appropriate, please move it there! :D

Aditya
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Punjab Government Buys Duplicate Coins for Double Price for a Museum
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2018, 10:28:18 AM »
After reading what that crazy museum has done then this post should go on the board 'Fantasies, fakes and imitations'

Clearly they have don't have anyone with any Numismatic interests working on their staff or things would no doubt be different.
Vic

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Punjab Government Buys Duplicate Coins for Double Price for a Museum
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2018, 06:24:54 PM »
Besides, a large collection of original Sikh coins is gathering dust in state museums. The number is so high that the department is finding it difficult to find place to display these.

Sorry for Indian taxpayers, but that hurts most. Meanwhile, the official policy is to grab coins from new finds without compensation for the finders or the owners of the land.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Bimat

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Punjab Government Buys Duplicate Coins for Double Price for a Museum
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2018, 04:02:55 PM »
Sidhu cancels purchase of duplicate Sikh coins

Posted at: Feb 26, 2018, 12:46 AM; last updated: Feb 26, 2018, 12:46 AM (IST)

Vishav Bharti
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 25


Taking cognisance of The Tribune report on the government move to buy duplicate coins related to the Sikh history at inflated rates to display these at Gobindgarh Fort, Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu today said he had cancelled the previous government’s decision and would get the matter legally examined.

The Tribune had highlighted that despite the availability of original coins at half the price, the government has paid lakhs of rupees to a private firm for minting duplicate ones. These coins were to be displayed at an upcoming Sikh coins museum at the fort. It was also reported that a large collection of original Sikh coins is gathering dust in various state museums.

Talking to The Tribune, Sidhu said it was a matter of Punjab’s history and pride. “The public comes to museums to witness historical artifacts. Placing duplicates not only amounts to deceiving the visitors, but also misleading them,” he said.

He said he had told the department officials to cancel the order. “Even the matter needs to be examined legally, if duplicate coins can be produced or not,” he said.

Source: Tribune India
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.