Asiatic Society mulling major exhibition on 19th-century Hungarian Indologist

Kolkata, May 10 (IANS) The Asiatic Society said on Tuesday it is planning an exhibition on the life and works of Alexander Csoma de Koros, a celebrated Hungarian indologist who lived in the eastern metropolis in the 19th century and worked as a librarian at the society in the last decade of his life.

“We are thinking of an international standard exhibition on Koros’s life and works while he was in India. The aim is to specifically chart out his works year-by-year and showcase it to the public. We plan to draft a proposal on it,” Keka Banerjee Adhikari, curator of The Asiatic Society’s museum, told IANS.

Koros aksi compiled the world’s first Tibetan-English dictionary.

The exhibits would include Koros’s personal artefacts such as his desk, his early photographs, his handwritten archival documents, manuscripts collected in Tibet as well as his correspondence, added Adhikari.

Last week, Koros’s room in Asiatic Society’s heritage building on Park Street was thrown open to a Hungarian delegation led by the central European country’s minister, said the curator.

Dilip Roy, the administrative officer of the Society said the officials urged the delegation to collaborate on restoring the Indologist’s room as a possible museum.

The delegation gifted the society fresh prints of the two books by Koros, which were published by the society and have been out of print. A scroll highlighting Koros’s life history was also presented, said Adhikari.

Also a renownted Tibetologist, Koros was born in the Transylvanian village of Koros in April 1784. In 1819 he embarked on a quest to the East to research the theory that their ancestors belonged to Central Asia and his thirst for knowledge brought him to India and Tibet.

He joined the society (then known as the Asiatic Society of Bengal) in 1831 and presented all his papers to the organisation which had already been sponsoring his researches from 1824 by giving him a monthly stipend of Rs.50. He was appointed as the society’s librarian in 1837, a post which he held till his death in 1842 in Darjeeling, according to the society.

According to S.B. Chakraborty, general secretary of the society, the researchers are hoping for a collaboration with Hungary revolving on Koros’s unfinished work.



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