Monday, 16 June 2008

Bid to take away Hitler's gift foiled

KATHMANDU, June 16 - Some former royals allegedly tried to take away Daimler Benz, Hitler's gift to King Tribhuvan, from the Narayanhiti Palace just a couple of days before Gyanendra Shah left the palace but were prevented from doing so, our palace source said. "An attempt was made to take the Daimler Benz out of the palace in middle of the night last Sunday, but the bid was foiled after the security there did not allow a crane to enter the palace premises," the source told the Post on Sunday, seeking anonymity.
Even government sources confirmed that the bid was foiled. But both the palace and government sources refused to identify the former royals who wanted to take away the antique 1938-model Mercedes Benz that is inside the palace, which was turned into a public museum on Sunday.
Officials said that they are planning to keep the vintage car inside the museum as a show piece to visitors. According to officials, the car is in a very bad condition. Before it was brought inside the palace three years ago, the car was in the garage of Thapathali Engineering Campus and was being used for training mechanics.
In the meantime, according to Reuters, the car was manually carried to Nepal by scores of laborers for several days from Nepal's southern plains to Kathmandu in 1940, when there were no roads. Tribhuvan, grandfather of Gyanendra, used the car when the Kathmandu Valley had no other motor transport, the British wire reported.
But after Tribhuvan's death in the 1950s, the car was left to gather dust in the premises of the Thapathali Engineering Campus.