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Govt unlocks supposed treasure trove



"The find so far includes 42 pieces of silver each the size of a brick‚ 90 smaller pieces of silver‚ an idol‚ karuwa and kalash"

KATHMANDU: A 23-member government team today opened two store rooms on the historical Hanumandhoka Durbar Square premises, believed to contain treasures, and found some antiques, head of the team said.

The team under Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director-general at the Department of Archaeology, inspected the rooms as per a March 2 Cabinet decision, barring mediapersons from the rooms on ‘security grounds’. Dahal informed that the team found nothing valuable in one room, while in the other, it found 15 metal and wooden boxes and seven safes.

According to historical records, then prime minister Chandra Shumsher JBR had brought the safes in 1914.

“Records have it that the store rooms were opened twice earlier. In 1779, then King Jaya Prakash Malla used gold and silver deposited there to pay salary to his soldiers. On another occasion, King Mahendra ordered deputies to get gold and other precious metals from the treasure and deposited INR 7.5 million at the Nepal Rastra Bank in return,” he said.

Dahal informed that they found 42 pieces of silver each the size of a brick, 90 smaller pieces of silver, a Buddha idol, karuwa and kalash in the second store room. “We are yet to open the boxes and safes. We will soon inform the public about the whole probe,” he said. The boxes and antiques found in the store room are now in the custody of the Nepali Army, which guards the durbar square. Officials said they opened the store rooms for renovation work and for displaying the valuables to the public.

On June 28, 2011, government officials had found in one of the storehouses eight crowns, two ‘Tilaharis’, two rosaries, two bracelets, two hair clips, two wires made of gold and other antiques.

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