The Status of Antiques in India and their Demands Abroad
The Indian subcontinent has been known for its historical and cultural context. Despite being home to various artifacts dating back centuries, the same remains ignored, unpreserved and neglected. Antiques which are highly valued by the collectors across the world mostly remain in a state of neglect in India.
The rising demand abroad, the lack of awareness and maintenance in India, and the negligent nature has led various fixtures to disappear from the State and appear at international auctions, to routinely fetch high prices.
Antique dealers generally snap up much of the antique furniture and fixtures in junk for as little as US 1 $ per piece, whereas the same is put up in international auction catalog to be bought by the international dealers and art enthusiasts for thousands of dollars.
Despite having caught the attention of several activists who’ve been trying to lobby the same with the respective Government(s) to regulate the sale of such coveted items abroad and in India, there has been a major reluctance on all part. Privy to instances of Indian government intervening in major auctions of Indian artifacts abroad only to be shown the mirror that the same were purchased legally (at junk prices), or were purchased from negligent customers who had left such precious items in a state of deterioration or neglect.
The situation prima facie is the same for many countries, in and around the Indian subcontinent, due to the lack of awareness and absence of bonafide buyers. People consider such items to be junk, since items dating centuries old are a common phenomenon for the public in India, and under such assumption, they fail to realize the artistic and historical importance of the work. The primary example of the same would be my ancestral house. Built roughly 120 years ago with timely modifications to the same, it is still considered a young development in comparison to its surrounding buildings.
Hopefully someday, somewhere, the people around the globe will be educated and made aware enough about their belongings and the rich heritage to understand their true values.
Until then, signing off, while I eat my food with a silver spoon that actually dates back to a few decades. Another common phenomenon I suppose.