Historic Agreement: Maharashtra Government Partners with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to Repatriate Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s ‘Wagh Nakh’

In a momentous cultural event, a significant step has been taken towards the repatriation of the historic ‘Wagh Nakh’ (Tiger Claws) weapon, once wielded by Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, to India.

The ‘Wagh Nakh,’ a formidable iron weapon resembling tiger claws, holds a special place in the annals of Indian history, owing to its association with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

A dedicated three-member team, led by Maharashtra’s esteemed Minister of Cultural Affairs, Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, along with Mr. Vikas Kharge (Principal Secretary, Cultural Affairs), and Mr. Garge (Director, Archaeology and Museums), traveled to London to formalise this momentous agreement.

The official transfer contract between the respective parties is expected to be signed on November 15, 2023.

Upon its return to India, the ‘Wagh Nakh’ will find a home in various museums across Maharashtra, affording the public the privilege of viewing this symbol of valor and victory. The ‘Wagh Nakh’ is slated to be displayed at Satara’s Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, Nagpur Museum, Kolhapur Museum, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastusamgrahalaya in Mumbai. According to the agreement, the artifact will return to London after a stipulated duration of 3 years and will be placed at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Designed with precision to cut through skin and muscle, this weapon currently resides within London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, serving as a testament to India’s rich heritage.

Following the signing ceremony of the historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Minister Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar expressed his optimism, stating,

“As we celebrate the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, we had resolved to bring back the ‘Wagh Nakh’ to its rightful home. This historic artifact should serve as an inspiration for the people of our country to emulate the unwavering dedication and bravery of our beloved leaders. We have signed the MoU paving the way for the ‘Wagh Nakh’ to return to India in November.”

In his appeal to the people of Maharashtra, he said, “After the ‘Wagh Nakh’ arrives in India, it will be displayed in various museums under the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums in the future. I am requesting not only the people of Maharashtra but also the people of India to participate in large numbers in the exhibition of the ‘Wagh Nakh’ and other Maratha weapons that were useful for Swaraj, take inspiration from this Shivshastra saga, and behave in a manner that enhances the spirit of patriotism.”

This landmark endeavor not only honors the legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj but also stands as a powerful symbol of cultural pride and historical resurgence for the people of Maharashtra and all of India.

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