|HOME | US EDITION | REPORT|
June 9, 1999
Smithsonian, World Bank To Help Shah Put Up A Coin Exhibition
For several decades Dr Navin Shah has passionately gone about collecting and diligently studying coins. Now, he has plans to share his collection with the public.
In collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, Shah is organizing an Indian coins exhibition in March-April 2000 at the World Bank gallery in the capital. The coins to be displayed will cover the period 500 BC to 1947.
Besides the exhibition, Shah also plans to organize seminars on coins of India. The Embassy of India, a co-sponsor, will publish a book on coins of India.
"I want it to be a large exhibition on India's culture," Shah says. "The coins of our country tell us that we have been very generous with our rulers. India's culture is variegated -- we have Turk coinage, Greek coinage, French and Portuguese coinage and of course, British coinage. Besides, there are coins from the over 1,000 kingdoms in India."
Shah's collection runs into thousands of coins. The Smithsonian has offered to lend its gold coins and the National Museum in New Delhi will send over its rare coins. The Numismatics Head at the National Museum, Rita Sharma, is being invited to arrange the exhibition.
The basic layout of the exhibition consists of two panels. One panel will display the coins of an era, and the opposite panel will showcase images and artifacts from that particular era. This will help the audience to better understand and relate to the coins and the era when they existed. "Coins and time walk hand in hand. God is immortal, so is money. That is the beauty of a coin," Shah says.
Shah has had to struggle much to make this exhibition a reality. "Historically, the United States doesn't put Indian culture on the same scale as it does Egyptian, Greek or Roman. India is not a priority in this country and I have had to convince them (Smithsonian, the World Bank) through the contacts that I developed to hold the exhibition," he says.
"For some part, Indians here are to be blamed for this. Most are bothered just about their livelihood. No one makes an effort to go into India's art and culture here. I am doing this for two reasons: one is to educate the Americans about us and the other is for my family to remain connected to its roots," Shah says. "I have an ideal combination for this exhibition, at the richest bank in the richest country's capital city," he adds.
BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK