Source NEW YORK, NEW YORK, August 18, 2019 (NY Times): Officials of the Indian government and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are discussing whether a number of prized antiquities that the museum began acquiring three decades ago were the product of ...
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, August 18, 2019 (NY Times): Officials of the Indian government and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are discussing whether a number of prized antiquities that the museum began acquiring three decades ago were the product of looting by Subhash Kapoor, a Manhattan art dealer accused of being one of the world's most prolific smugglers of stolen artifacts. Since 1990, the Met has acquired some 15 antiquities that passed through Mr. Kapoor's hands during a period in which, the authorities say, his smuggling ring was active and he routinely sold or donated rare and costly artifacts to at least a dozen American museums. The discussions are part of a major push by India to recover some of the tens of thousands of sacred statues and ancient relics now known to have been plundered in the last half-century by a variety of smugglers and temple raiders.
"As we have since learned of the multiple law enforcement actions, and in the spirit of our enhanced procedures over recent years, we are now seeking to identify additional provenance information," the museum said in a statement. "It is a good initiative," D.M. Dimri, a spokesman for the Archaeological Survey of India, said of the Met's effort. His agency is responsible for safeguarding India's most illustrious objects and monuments. "We hope other museums will follow suit too and verify the source of their acquisitions in case they have our stolen antiquities."
Hinduism is not a definite dogmatic creed, but a vast, complex and subtly unified mass of spiritual thought and realization. Its tradition of the Godward endeavor of the human spirit has been continuously enlarging through the ages. -- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), philosopher, statesmen and second President of India
IPOH,MALAYSIA, August 17, 2019 (Malay Mail): The Sri Maha Mariaman Temple in Kampung Dusun, Bertam was a wreck when Hindu worshippers entered the prayer hall and saw 15 Deities smashed or in a broken heaps. The sacrilegious vandalism looked like it could have been the work of a group, but police have zoomed in on one person they suspect to be the culprit. "We arrested an Indonesian man at around 4.15am today," Perak deputy police chief Datuk Lim Hong Shuan said in a statement today. Police are investigating the case under Section 295, 427 and 448 of the Penal Code for defiling a place of worship, committing mischief by causing damage and trespass respectively.
Do you realize the sacred significance and the supreme importance of the guru's role in the evolution of man? It was not without reason that the India of the past carefully tended and kept alive the lamp of guru-tattva. It is therefore not without reason that India, year after year, age after age, commemorates anew this ancient concept of the guru, adores it and pays homage to it again and again, and thereby reaffirms its belief and allegiance to it. -- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh
INDIA, August 15, 2019 (Fortune India): A unique project in Varanasi is pushing for modern development in the heartland of Indian antiquity. It may well become a model for historic precincts in the country as India develops economically. The Kashi Vishwanath corridor project, which is being personally supervised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and funded by the local Uttar Pradesh government, is monumental. Varanasi, considered one of the oldest living cities in the world, is also Modi's political constituency from where he has won his last two elections.In a country where real estate and land redevelopment in public spaces is fraught with litigation, the project has successfully evacuated 250 families and over a 100 small businesses that had been in the area for at least 80 years and even longer in some cases. The land acquisition stands nearly completed a good year ahead of schedule.
As a part of the dramatic transformation of the ancient city, the first in nearly 200 years, the land will be used to construct a 65 ft. wide pathway for the about 1000 ft. distance from the river to the temple. The new construction is expected to cost the state government about US$35 million, in addition to the $42 million already spent on land acquisition. Though no concrete plans are yet available, a walk-through created by Gujarat-based architecture firm HCP Design outlines a pilgrim centre, public utilities such as toilets, a library, cafes, and a museum. It will help ease congestion and make access easier for pilgrims to the temple, which has a golden spire and domes.
More at "source" above including several photos of the project.