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What is the significance of the WaghNakh and Jagdamba Sword?
The WaghNakh, also known as tiger claws, and the Jagdamba Sword are historically significant weapons associated with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a prominent figure in the history of the Maratha empire. The WaghNakh played a crucial role in a notable event where Shivaji Maharaj defended himself against an attack, and the Jagdamba Sword is a symbol of the Maratha heritage.
Why are these weapons returning to Maharashtra?
These iconic weapons are returning to Maharashtra as part of the commemoration of the 350th year of Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation. The Maharashtra government has actively pursued their repatriation to celebrate and preserve the rich history associated with these artifacts.
Where are these weapons currently located?
The WaghNakh is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, while the Jagdamba Sword is part of the royal collection at St James Palace, also in London.
How will the artifacts be displayed in Maharashtra?
The artifacts will be showcased in various museums across Maharashtra, including Satara, Nagpur, Kolhapur, and Mumbai. Strict security measures will be in place to ensure their safety. The artifacts will be displayed in these museums as part of a planned schedule.
What is the historical significance of the WaghNakh?
The WaghNakh is historically significant as it was used by Shivaji Maharaj to defend himself against the Adilshahi general Afzal Khan. This event is celebrated as a masterstroke in military strategy and holds great importance in Maratha history.
What efforts have been made to repatriate these artifacts?
The Maharashtra government, along with cultural affairs ministers and officials, has actively communicated with the British government and the Victoria and Albert Museum to facilitate the return of the WaghNakh. An agreement is expected to be signed soon to outline the conditions for the loan of the artifact for a period of three years.
What is the significance of the Jagdamba Sword?
The Jagdamba Sword is another symbol of Maratha heritage and is associated with Shivaji Maharaj. Efforts are underway to resolve technical issues and bring it back to Maharashtra.
How will the artifacts be insured and safeguarded during their display in Maharashtra?
The government will secure an insurance policy for the artifacts, and strict security measures will be in place at the display locations to ensure their safety.
When are these artifacts expected to return to the UK?
The WaghNakh is expected to be returned to the Victoria and Albert Museum on November 16, 2026, after a three-year display in Maharashtra. Efforts are ongoing to resolve technical issues for the return of the Jagdamba Sword.
What is the broader significance of repatriating these historical artifacts?
The repatriation of these artifacts is a significant step in preserving and showcasing the rich history and heritage of the Maratha empire. It aims to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of these artifacts among the younger generation and the general populace.