Queen Victoria's statues in Mathura Museum, UP vandalized

Damaging historical monuments is a disgusting thing happening across India, and as I mentioned in a few posts on the Indian monuments, vandalism is a major menace and ought to be stopped by the government.  Many of the monuments in secluded places like public parks, in  remote road junctions, etc often become targets for the vandals, bad elements in the society and drunks. Particularly, the latter, in drunken stupor, may  cause, all kinds of headache to the public in Tamil Nadu. If they happen to be near some old statues of political  leaders, etc., they target them, causing  mayhem, uproar and clashes  among political parties and public.

Queen Victoria's statue, Mathura Museum news.vrindavantoday.org

Above image:  Victoria, the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III, inherited the throne at the age of 18.  Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, and Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. ...................

Queen Victoria,Photograph by Alexander Bassano, 1882en.wikipedia.org

Have you ever heard of vandalism of  statues right inside a public museum? Yes, it happened in Mathura, UP on 8 August 2014.  The museum was founded by the then collector of the Mathura district Mr. F S Growse in 1874. This present building had begun to function from 1930. This museum is being managed by the UP government, India and is on Museum Road or Murari Lal Rajpal road, Dampier Nagar, Mathura.  Formerly, it was known as  The Curzon Museum of Archaeology.  The life-size statues of the former queen of England  became the targets of vandals inside the museum!! Three 150-year-old statues of Queen Victoria made of   ashtadhatu, a combination of eight metals  were damaged by a three  man gang  armed with hammers and shovels. The acts of vandalism by these irresponsible people resulted in the damages to  nose and fingers of the statues.  Work on the public park  was underway and the statues were meant for the park to be named as Victoria Park.

Mathura museum, Mathra. tripadvisor.co.uk

The daring act of vandalism took place when the statues were kept in the backyard of the  walled museum for installation in the park to be  opened soon. You may wonder how come  the three men went through the security check with the tools. As a matter of fact, they never carried the tools with them to vandalize the statues. As pre-planned, once they entered the Museum grounds, they had their accomplices throw the hammer and shovels over the walls. Security men caught the culprits and arrested the two youths. Upon intense interrogation by the police, the youths replied that they were quite apprehensive about “symbols of British Colonialism” and decided to damage the statues. They expressed their desire to install the statues of Indian freedom fighters and not Queen Victoria  whose Crown Government was a symbol of colonial imperialism and expansionism. According to the Deputy Director of Museum

Mathura museum, Mathura, UP. MouthShut.com

the three damaged statues were  recent additions. One was brought from Badaun in 1982, another from Eta in 1986, and the third from Bulandshahr, also in 1986. He said that they were all about 150 years old.

The museum is a famous one in UP and is being visited by scholars from abroad.  It houses artifacts pottery, sculptures, paintings, and coins primarily from in and around Mathura, plus discoveries made by well-known  colonial archaeologists like Alexander Cunningham, F. S. Growse. In addition, the museum has rare  collection of ancient sculptures of the Mathura School (3rd century BC to 12th century AD) during the Kushan and Gupta empires.