Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and was the first Indian to bring home the prestigious prize. But did you know, in the year 2004, Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize was stolen from the safety vault of the Visva Bharati University? In fact, several other belongings of the legendary poet were stolen the same day.
In the year 2004, on March 25th, Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize, comprising of the Nobel medal and the Nobel citation were stolen. The Nobel Prize was stolen from the safety vault of the Visva Bharati University museum where it was stored. The museum was located in Santiniketan.
Several other personal belongings of the poet were also stolen along with his Nobel Prize. In December the same year, the Swedish government had presented two replicas of Tagore’s Nobel Prize. One of the two replicas was made of gold and the other one was made of bronze. The Swedish government had presented these to the Visva Bharati University.
Pradip Bauri, a Baul singer from West Bengal's Birbhum district, was arrested in November 2016 for his alleged involvement in the robbery. The scheme was masterminded by a Bangladeshi national named Mohammed Hossain Shipul, and two Europeans were also involved in the robbery. However, the Nobel Prize has not been recovered yet, as reported by Free Press Journal on May 7th, 2020.
Rabindranath Tagore is an Indian polymath, who reshaped Bengali literature and music and Indian art with contextual modernism. He also wrote the national anthem of India. In the year 1913, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was awarded the prestigious prize as his works were recognized as "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful". Tagore had won the Nobel Prize for his collection: Gitanjali, which were published in London in the year 1912. About Rabindranath Tagore, NobelPrize.org, the official website for Nobel Prize has mentioned,
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1913 was awarded to Rabindranath Tagore because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West.
While Tagore was the first non-European to bag a Nobel Prize in Literature, he was the second non-European ever to have won a Nobel prize in the world. The first non-European to win Nobel was Theodore Roosevelt, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1906.