Another Pressure to British Museum on Buddha’s Birthplace Issue
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 3, 2012
Let’s give another pressure to British Museum. Please click here to go to the relevant link
British Museum on 4th of November, 2011 at 3:46 pm wrote on its Facebook page:
“In light of recent comments about the Buddha’s birthplace, we would like to reassure you that the Museum does not state that the Buddha was born in India. We state that the Buddha was born into a small kingdom that flourished in north-eastern India in about 500 BC. The kingdom covered a reasonably wide area in the northern plains, along with several others of the time. When the Buddha’s mother was expecting, the family decided that she should proceed north to the hills to give birth. This she did, but gave birth along the way, in Lumbini at foot of the Himalayas. The site of Lumbini is in Nepal about 20 miles from the modern border with the Republic of India. If you are aware of an instance where the incorrect information is written or posted please let us know where so we can look into it. You are welcome to leave comments about this subject on the main wall but please note that comments about this subject on unrelated posts will be deleted as they are off topic. Please see further information about commenting in the info tab.”
After 1,130 comments against the message on museum panel suggesting to write clearly Lumbini, Nepal as Buddha’s birthplace British Museum had another notice on its Facebook page “In the spirit of clarity, the British Museum wants to be unambiguous and accurate on this issue – the Buddha was born in Lumbini which is in Nepal. The Museum is always seeking to find the clearest way to put past history into understandable statements in the Museum, on our website and in our online records. Thank you for your feedback. Please be assured this is an important issue to the Museum and has been passed on to our curatorial team to establish where further clarity in the Museum and online may be required.” On 7th of November at 11:05 am.
After query British Museum South Asia Collection curator Dr. Sona Datta wrote in a letter, “The information panel that you question on the Life of the Buddha and that was previously on display in our Gallery 33, which houses our main displays of the cultures of South Asia, refers to the Buddha’s birthplace at Lumbini. It does not, however, state that Lumbini is in Nepal. Our wording was unintentionally ambiguous, which we regret. We have created new signage that has been on view as of 11 December, 2011.
The panel now reads:
The Buddha was born in 563 BC and named Siddhartha Gautama. He was a prince from the Shakya royal family, who ruled a region corresponding to the modern borderlands between Nepal and northern India. When the Buddha’s mother was expecting, her family sent her to the foothills of the Himalayas. She gave birth while travelling north, at a place called Lumbini in Nepal.”
UNESCO decided to keep Lumbini in World’s heritage site list in 1997 due to Buddh’s birthplace (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/666) British Museum South Asia curator took more than two months just to change couple of sentences and it is clearly seen that the curator is hesitating to implement Museum’s decision and playing sentences unnecessarily. Why the curator wants to include words “northern India”? And the sentence “When the Buddha’s mother was expecting, her family sent her to the foothills of the Himalayas. She gave birth while travelling north, at a place called Lumbini in Nepal.” is very irrelevant it could mean that Buddha’s mother came from India to Lumbini. It clearly shows that either the curator is not capable or trying to play unnecessarily. It could be better that British Museum start investigation in curator’s this job to save its Global reputaion