The sword was purchased in Jaipur in 1994, while I was travelling through India on the way to Kathmandu. I was unable to take it out of Nepal, and it has been kept there for ten years. After several years’ study in the area of history and heritage issues, I decided that my sword should be taken back to Jaipur, to be put in a museum for the benefit of all. Logistics and beaurocracy prevented me from doing this however, and the sword is still sitting in Kathmandu. An interesting story emerges as to why I was unable to do anything constructive with my sword, despite good intentions, contacts and considerable research and preparation.
Mrs Faith Singh of the Jaipur Virasat Foundation discusses my sword in the context of the problems facing cultural heritage management in Jaipur, the lack of good museum management and resources, and consequently what I should consider doing with my sword. Click here to listen to this conversation.
I met a history scholar in Jaipur, Mr Sinjhi, who told me all about my sword. Click here to listen to this part of my conversation with him, and click here to go to his interview page.
Nepal and India (2003)
In October and November 2003, I visited Nepal and India in an attempt to repatriate my antique Indian sword, which I bought in Jaipur in 1993, while backpacking across the Middle East, en route to Kathmandu.
My intention when I bought the sword was to take it home to England on a flight out of Kathmandu. However, due to political turmoil and rigorous checks at customs it was impossible to take the sword out of Nepal. I therefore had to leave it with family friends in Kathmandu who very kindly offered look after it, and with whom it has remained ever since.
I therefore decided to go back to Nepal in 2003, after a gap of ten years, to locate the sword, and attempt to take it back to Jaipur. After a degree and subsequent MA in ancient history and heritage preservation, I wanted the sword to be donated to a museum or other foundation in its place of origin so it could be studied, put on display, and properly looked after. I knew this would be a daunting task, and put six months into planning my trip to repatriate my sword – but was I successful?
Along the course of the journey I met and interviewed many leading figures from political, academic, and cultural heritage organisations.