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Painting of the Maharaja Duleep Singh centrepiece of exhibition marking 125th anniversary of his death

Casualty of War by the Singh Twins. Picture: The Singh Twins www.singhtwins.co.uk /National Museums Scotland

Casualty of War by the Singh Twins. Picture: The Singh Twins www.singhtwins.co.uk /National Museums Scotland

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A painting recording the life and death of the Maharaja Duleep Singh will be the centrepiece of a new exhibition marking the 125th anniversary of his death.

Ancient House Museum in Thetford will be holding a series of events to celebrate Thetford's link with the Sikh community as part of the Festival of Thetford and Punjab. Picture: Ancient House Museum/Norfolk Museums ServiceAncient House Museum in Thetford will be holding a series of events to celebrate Thetford's link with the Sikh community as part of the Festival of Thetford and Punjab. Picture: Ancient House Museum/Norfolk Museums Service

On loan from National Museums Scotland, The Casualty of War depicts the two cultures – British and Punjabi – which shaped the life of Duleep Singh, the last Sikh ruler of the Punjab who lived at Elveden Hall.

The colourful painting, by renowned British Sikh artists The Singh Twins, will be hosted by the Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life.

The museum’s exhibition, which will run from July 7 until December 1, is part of the Festival of Thetford and Punjab.

Between July 7 and 21, a series of events will be held in Thetford to celebrate and explore the story of the Maharaja, his legacy, and the wider cultural links between the town and the Punjab.

The Jugnu Bhangra Dancers, dressed in their traditional folk Punjabi costume, will be performing at the Thetford & Punjab Festival. Picture:  Essex Cultural Diversity ProjectThe Jugnu Bhangra Dancers, dressed in their traditional folk Punjabi costume, will be performing at the Thetford & Punjab Festival. Picture: Essex Cultural Diversity Project

The Festival of Thetford and Punjab is led by the Essex Cultural Diversity Project and involves partners including the Norfolk Library Service, Norfolk Arts Service and Thetford Town Council alongside Ancient House Museum.

The Singh twins will attend the launch of the museum’s exhibition on July 7.

Councillor John Ward, chairman of Norfolk County Council joint museums committee, said: “Ancient House Museum, Thetford was founded by Prince Frederick Duleep Singh, Maharajah Duleep Singh’s second son.

“For many years the museum has actively explored this link with the family and Sikh and Punjab culture.

The statue of last King of Punjab, Maharaja Duleep Singh in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca MurphyThe statue of last King of Punjab, Maharaja Duleep Singh in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

“The Festival and new exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to further celebrate this fascinating aspect of Thetford’s past.”

Families are invited to special free event days on July 7, 14 and 21. On these days there will be a focus on the lives of the Maharaja children and his life.

The Festival of Thetford and Punjab will include contributions by people including film director Gurinder Chadha, best known for the hit film Bend It Like Beckham.

There will be demonstrations of Punjab cuisine, a display of Sikh artefacts and on July 21 the festival will merge with Thetford Town Council’s River Festival to create one large celebratory event.

Ancient House Museum in Thetford will be holding a series of events to celebrate Thetford's link with the Sikh community as part of the Festival of Thetford and Punjab. Picture: Ancient House Museum/Norfolk Museums ServiceAncient House Museum in Thetford will be holding a series of events to celebrate Thetford's link with the Sikh community as part of the Festival of Thetford and Punjab. Picture: Ancient House Museum/Norfolk Museums Service

For more information about the museum event visit Ancient House Museum on Facebook.

Hardeep Singh Kohli to talk at festival

Director Gurinder Chadha will visit Thetford as part of the Festival of Thetford & Punjab. She is pictured at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Picture: Denise BradleyDirector Gurinder Chadha will visit Thetford as part of the Festival of Thetford & Punjab. She is pictured at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Picture: Denise Bradley

Comedian and presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli will be attending the Festival of Thetford and Punjab.

Known for the radio show Hardeep’s Sunday Lunch and for various television documentaries, Mr Kohli will be in conversation with Sikh historian Peter Bance.

Mr Kohli, who did a BBC documentary on the Maharaja called Desi DNA, will talk about his look into the Duleep Singh story and also about his own traditional Sikh upbringing.

Born in London, when he was four Mr Kohli moved to Glasgow. His parents came to Britain from India during the 1960s and the family’s roots lie in the Punjab.

The event will take place on Wednesday, July 18 at Thetford Library between 7.30pm and 9pm.

Tickets are £5 and are available from the festival box office by calling 01842 751975 or 07802701911, or visit Leaping Hare.

For further information about the festival visit the website.

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