President gifts ‘kastane’ to National Museum

2 August 2017 02:17 pm - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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President Maithripala Sirisena presented the invaluable artifact, Kastane, he received from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the National Museum today.

He received the royal sword (Kastane) of the Kandyan era of the 19th century from President Putin during his state visit to Russia in March this year.

President Putin, a known lover of antique weapons, graciously decided to part with one of his treasured antiques for the sake of friendship, the President’s Media Division said.

“It was a pleasant surprise for President Sirisena as the Russian leader gave this invaluable gift when he entered the Green Chimney Room in the Kremlin at the Red Square for bilateral talks with President Putin. The Russian leader said he was presenting this significant gift to President Sirisena symbolizing the close relationship between the two countries,” it said.

When President Sirisena was admiring the shining weapon and its beautifully carved case which was studded with gems, Putin explained that it was an antique Kastane belonging to a Kandyan Nilame (Nobleman) and that it has a fascinating history.

This sword had been brought to England in 1906 and later bought by Russia at the leading archeological artifact auction house, Sotheby’s in London.

The Kastane (sword, hanger) was the major attribute of the noblemen of Sri Lanka. People who were not noble by origin were not eligible to bear or even keep a Kastane.

Therefore, the purpose of such arm was to underline the stature of the bearer. According to Alex Freger (Tel Aviv), a high-profile Israeli expert on bladed weapons, the item subject to expertise descends from the Kandyan rulers (kings).

Freger noted that the Kandy ruling class had always played an essential political and religious role in Sri Lanka. The temple which still keeps custody over the sacred Buddhist object – Tooth of Buddha – was located at the premises of the Royal Palace, and up to this day is the destination of pilgrims from all over the world.

The “Kastane” was auctioned at the Sotheby’s Auction House on 19 December 2006 in the elite section of “Property of a Princely Family and Other Aristocratic Estates.”

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  • ceylon Wednesday, 02 August 2017 02:41 PM

    given a goft to the head of state by another head of statebelong to the statenot to the receiver. via DM Android App

    Labby Wednesday, 02 August 2017 06:21 PM

    That is why it is now in the Museum.

    Abilik Belek Wednesday, 02 August 2017 02:57 PM

    What would happen to this after the year 2020?

    Bala Wednesday, 02 August 2017 02:57 PM

    Hope this will not be robbed by future politicians - as was the case recently when the CCTV cameras at the Museaum were conveniently disabled and a poor carpenter was framed but the goods never recovered.

    Bala Wednesday, 02 August 2017 03:09 PM

    Same with aid given to tsunami victims but we saw the try scored in Helping some Hambantota boys. They gave it back but pocketed the interest earned.

    ANTON Wednesday, 02 August 2017 03:14 PM

    BUT THERE WAS AN ERA SEALING ANTIQUES FROM THE MUSEUM.

    ANTON Wednesday, 02 August 2017 03:15 PM

    SOME TIMES MERVIN MIGHT GIFT KING DUTU GAMUNU'S SWORD AND CROWN.

    asiri Wednesday, 02 August 2017 04:30 PM

    "Kangetta" may steal this from museum. Beware....

    Jaliya Pathirana Wednesday, 02 August 2017 05:58 PM

    English ,The Race of gentleman Thieves, Auctioning off other people's property as their own.Kudos to President Maithree ,had the MR still in power this kastana would have ended up hanging at Medamulana Living room.

    JAN Wednesday, 02 August 2017 08:27 PM

    We citizens like to know what happened to the PresidentsPrime Ministers Received valuable Gifts from Foreign Visits for the past 60Yesrs via DM Android App

    JIM Thursday, 03 August 2017 06:55 AM

    All gifts received by the head of state belongs to the state. Same applies to minsters and representatives of the state. Failure to hand them over is an offence. CBK received a Patek Philipe, whereabouts unknown. The ministry of Foreign affairs is responsible for maintaining an account. Our FM may not remember.


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