Nobel Prize winner's memorabilia neglected


2015-06-26 11:36:11


Nobel Prize winner's memorabilia neglected

Personal effects belonging to the poet, novelist and historical figure are falling into disrepair

Rabindranath Tagore was Asia's first Nobel Laureate, winning in 1913. Most people remember him best as a poet, though he was also respected as a novelist, composer, philosopher and artist.

Two of his compositions were chosen as the national anthems of Bangladesh and India, though both after his death on 7th August 1941. (Bangladesh only became a nation 30 years later.)

There were many events in Bangladesh to mark the 68th year since Tagore died, yet Bangladesh's Department of Archaeology has been accused of neglecting a number of items relating to him.

These items range from the personal, such as eleven letters from his son, Rathindranath, through the everyday, such as a clock, bathtub and mirror, to the ledger where the poet maintained bank accounts involving his Nobel Prize money.

The letters have been in iron safes at Kaligram Rathinadranath Institution Office for over 60 years, though the department has been aware of them being there for 16 years. The ledger's whereabouts seem to be a complete mystery.

Tagore was born (and died) in Calcutta, but went to school in Brighton, and University College London, and later toured the world to introduce people to his political views and writing, meeting many contemporaries including George Bernard Shaw and Albert Einstein.

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