Nizam's jewellery ready to dazzle viewers at National Museum

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (UNI) Fabulous, marvellous, gorgeous and above all awesome, define the mastercraftsmanship of yore imbued in 'stones of romance' collection of Nizams' jewels -- ready for a peek for Delhiites after a gap of six years.

Evoking timeless feelings of love, envy and valour, the nearly 300 years' collection, estimated at a staggering Rs 10,000 crore, is on display at the National Museum as part of the 'democratisation of art'.

Though most of the 173-set collection of 348 pieces of gold and diamond jewellery tag along a story and a history behind them, the 184.75 carat Jacob, world's third largest diamond, churns a trail of sighs from one and all, with its sheer lustre, aura and class.

Inaugurating the exhibition, ICCR President Karan Singh said the exhibit was part of the '60 years of Indian Independence' celebrations being organised around the world.

Lauding Lord Curzon's contribution in museum building in India, the former 'Maharaja' called for curating a 'culture of museums' while adding that palaces all over the country would make exquisite 'museums a la grace'.

''Memorabilia museums, interactive museums and more private museums are needed to make history and museumology alluring for the students, who must know their roots to carry forward the rich legacy of our past,'' Dr Singh said.

Narrating a lore associated with 'Jacob', Dr Singh said the diamond was lost until one day it was 'discovered' by the Nizam while wearing his shoes. The uncut diamond pinched his feet, but for mankind it turned out to a huge chunk of splendour and a part of aesthetics folklore.

Culture and Tourism Minister Ambika Soni said the jewels of Nizams of Hyderabad were a testimony to India's fabled richness, unmatched in its grandeur anywhere in the world.

''Exhibitions all over the globe and the sterling reviews these have attracted has shown that our heritage collections are magnificent, glorious and timeless, and speak volumes of the richness of our 5000 years of history and heritage,'' she said.

At present the focus of the world was on India which was a matter of pride and an opportunity to revisit our own past, she said.

''Soon we would be having a blueprint, based on the report of experts, which would give our museums a world class profile and ambience.'' UNI AN/SKS SP KN1443

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