Kathmandu, October 15
Nearly a decade after the Narayanhiti Royal Palace opened its doors to the general public, the crown, sceptre and sword used by former kings were put on display from today.
Earlier, the general public had been deprived of the opportunity to view the symbols of monarchy due to lack of security.
However, the government has arranged special security, which has made the exhibition of the crown, sceptre and sword possible, according to Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari.
According to the Department of Archaeology, the royal crown is studded with over 3,000 precious stones, including 723 diamonds, 2,372 pearls, 47 emeralds and
16 rubies. The top of the crown has a plume of ‘bird-of-paradise’. Both the sword and the sceptre are made of pure gold.
Sporting the crown, sceptre and sword by the king was an indispensable part of royal coronation, marriage ceremony of the crown princesses and special functions.
Apart from being displayed in a bullet-proof box, Minister Adhikari informed that the crown, sword and sceptre would be protected with seven layers of security, including round-the-clock CCTV monitoring. The display box has also been fitted with sensors that set off an alarm if anyone touches it.
The Narayanhiti Royal Palace was converted into a museum after the second people’s uprising that resulted in the abolition of the nearly 240-year-old monarchy in the country in 2008.
Inaugurated by the then prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on February 27, 2009, the museum has been under the purview of Department of Archaeology.
While there is no data on when the crown, sceptre and the sword were made, Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director
general of DoA, said late Birendra Bir Bikram Shah had repaired and reshaped the crown in 1972 when he succeeded the throne after his father’s death. According to Minister Adhikari, the government will soon form a special committee to determine the price of the crown, sceptre and the sword. Thereafter the government will also insure them.
Meanwhile, during the unveiling ceremony today, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli directed authorities concerned to ensure systematic management of Narayanhiti Royal Palace Museum to make the experience pleasant for all visitors.
“Today’s event holds much significance as an important part of Nepal’s history is being put on public display,” said Oli, stressing the need for systematic management of the museum to preserve history for the sake of future generations.
The prime minister also took the opportunity to remind former king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah that his status has now been reduced to that of an ordinary citizen and warned him against making baseless allegations against the government.
A version of this article appears in print on October 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.