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Two replicas in place of stolen Nobel medallion

By Our Special Correspondent

KOLKATA, NOV. 2. The Nobel medallion awarded to Rabindranath Tagore in 1913 that was stolen along with other memorabilia from the Vishwa Bharati University's Rabindra Bhavan in Shantiniketan in March is to be replaced with not one but two replicas to be provided by the Nobel Foundation, Stockholm.

In a letter to university authorities, the public relations manager of the Foundation, Annika Ekdahl, has said it has made an exception for the university and is willing to accept an order for a replica in gilded bronze. If the university is agreeable to providing funds ``a replica in 23-carat gold can be made''. The university has written back expressing the desire for replicas both in gilded bronze and gold.

Speaking to The Hindu here today, the Vice-Chancellor, Sujit Kumar Basu, said the authorities had decided to preserve the replica in gold as ``a treasure to be placed in a locker that would be secure and safe''. The one in gilded bronze would be put on display in Rabindra Bhavan. ``We have asked them for an account of the finances expected to be involved in manufacturing the replicas'', Dr. Basu said.

The Nobel Foundation authorities have pointed out that normally replicas of Nobel medallions are provided on request to either close relatives of the awardee or the Nobel laureate.

The Foundation has ``the exclusive right to the design of the Nobel medallion and also the international registered trademark''.

Replicas of medals, they add, ``can only be manufactured in Sweden in a Swedish mint''.

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