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Sweden presents India with replicas of stolen Nobel Prize

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14:34 CEST+02:00
(AFP) Sweden has presented India with two replicas of the Nobel medal awarded to Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore that was stolen last year from a university he set up in the eastern state of West Bengal.

Tagore, an icon of India's independence struggle who wrote the country's national anthem, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913.

The replicas - one in gold and the other in bronze - were handed over by Sweden's Nobel Foundation to the Visva Bharati university at a ceremony in Shanti Niketan, 200 kilometres (124 miles) from West Bengal state capital Calcutta.

Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the speaker of India's parliament, Somnath Chatterjee, attended the event, an official said.

The medal was replaced at the request of Visva Bharti University which Tagore founded in 1901 in a bid to connect learning with nature. Tagore's Nobel, watch, other gold medals and some rare artifacts and paintings were found to be missing from the museum in March last year, according to police.

Tagore died in 1941.

The gold replica will be stored in the strongroom of the Visva Bharati University while the other will be put on display along with the citation of the Nobel foundation, university authorities said.

Security has been tightened and private guards have been hired for the purpose, the authorities added.

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