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UK auctioning Tipu Sultan's throne finial worth Rs 14 crore; netizens slam it for selling 'looted' item

The UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport took to the micro-blogging site to announce the auction and stated that a £1.5 million throne finial is at risk of leaving the UK.
 

UK auctioning Tipu Sultan's throne finial worth Rs 14 crore netizens react gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Nov 16, 2021, 3:56 PM IST
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The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport of the United Kingdom is auctioning off a throne finial stolen from India for £1.5 million, or Rs 14,98,64,994. Known as the "Throne finial", the throne has also imposed an export embargo. The gold tiger head, which initially belonged to Mysuru monarch Tipu Sultan's throne in 18th century India, was placed under a temporary export ban to find a buyer in the United Kingdom. The finial is one of eight gold tiger heads that decorated the ruler's throne, also known as "Tiger of Mysore."

The UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport took to the micro-blogging site to announce the auction and stated that a £1.5 million throne finial is at risk of leaving the UK. The gold finial, studded with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds, is characterised as a rare example of thoroughly documented 18th century South Indian goldsmiths' work, with its existence unknown until 2009.

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The decision on the export licencing application for the finial has been postponed until February 11, 2022, and can be extended up to June 11, 2022. The decision was taken in response to the opinion of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), which decided that it is an important symbolic object in late-eighteenth-century Anglo-Indian history.

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Lord Stephen Parkinson, UK Arts Minister, stated that "this interesting finial recounts the tale of Tipu Sultan's rule and urges us to evaluate our imperial history." He said that he hopes a buyer from the United Kingdom comes forward so that we can all learn more about this pivotal moment in our shared history with India.

Meanwhile, here's how netizens reacted to the news:

 

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Until his defeat and death in 1799, Tipu Sultan was regarded as the biggest menace to the British East India Company. As king of Mysuru, Tipu Sultan associated himself and his personal treasures with tiger iconography, and experts feel that this finial provides historians with the chance to portray the rich culture of Tipu Sultan's court while also closely examining British colonial history.

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