Kremlin Museum plans to exhibit Nizam jewels

By Biswajit Choudhury, IANS,

New Delhi : The Moscow Kremlin Museum may exhibit jewellery from the priceless collection of Nizam of Hyderabad at an exhibition of Indian jewellery in the Russian capital.

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“A preliminary agreement has been reached with the National Museum in New Delhi. Talks are being held to present jewellery from the Nizam of Hyderabad collection,” Elena Gagarina, director-general of Moscow Kremlin Museum told IANS.

“This is a unique project. No other country has seen the exhibits, which will be exposed at the Moscow Kremlin Museum,” Gagarina added.

The exhibition is scheduled to be held from April through to August 2014.

The Nizam’s jewellery, rated among the world’s priceless collections, is currently stored in government vaults after being exhibited a few times here at the National Museum and in Hyderabad.

Gagarina said a proposal had already been made in talks with India’s Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch.

“We explained that we were ready to hold an exhibition in India if we are allowed to present the Nizam’s jewellery in Moscow. We are ready to discuss with India about its … interest in our collection,” Gagarina said.

The Nizam jewellery collection was purchased by the government in 1995 for Rs.217 crore after lengthy negotiations between the trustees.

Comprising 173 jewels, the collection covers a period ranging from 18th century to the early 20th century. It includes necklaces, belts and buckles, bracelets and bangles, earrings, armlets and watch chains.

While the diamonds in the collection originate from the mines of Golconda, there are Colombian emeralds, Burmese rubies and pearls from Basra.

The Kremlin exhibition will also present Indian jewellery of the Mughal era between the 17th and 19th centuries, as well as from other Indian princely states.

It will also feature the Indian collections of leading French jewellers like Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels.

Collections from the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar and other private collections from different countries will be exhibited in Moscow, Gagarina said.

“We are ready to present the exhibition in other countries. This possibility is being discussed now,” added Gagarina.