In the middle of Rajshahi city there is the museum which houses the country’s best collection of thousand-year-old Hindu idols and old manuscripts. A few months ago it made the headlines with a big scandal. Some very old Hindu sculptures were sent from Varendra museum to the airport to be taken and shown in France. Just days before the flight, the some of the sculptures disappeared. Talk about national embarrassment! Later pieces of one of the sculptures were found abandoned outside the airport on a trash heap. So none of the sculptures ever made it to France. They are now in boxes sitting in the museum. In one of the curator’s opinion, it was just as good–France would have stolen the originals and sent imitations back (!).

Last week I got inside the inner archives to collect typeface samples of ancient manuscripts called puthis, hand-written writings on palm-leaves and hand-made paper which represent the history of the Bengali alphabet. Here’s a sample of one: