Stolen from Rajasthan and smuggled into UK, uncommon Lord Shiva statue to be returned to India

London, July 30

A uncommon late ninth century stone statue of Lord Shiva, which was stolen from a temple in Rajasthan and smuggled to the UK, can be returned to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Thursday.

The stone Nataraj/Natesha murti, in “chatura pose with jatamakuta and trinetra” and nearly four-ft-tall, is a uncommon depiction of Lord Shiva within the Prathihara fashion.

It was stolen in February 1998 from Ghateshwar Temple in Baroli, Rajasthan. In 2003, it got here to mild that the statue had been smuggled out to the UK.

“When this information was received in London, the UK authorities were contacted and with their support the matter was pursued with the private collector, who was in possession of the idol in London. He voluntarily returned the idol to the Indian High Commission in the UK in 2005,” mentioned the High Commission of India within the UK.

In August 2017, a crew of ASI specialists visited the India House and examined the idol, which took pleasure of place contained in the constructing’s essential foyer. The specialists confirmed that it’s the similar statue that was stolen from Ghateshwar Temple.

An official Indian authorities communique mentioned that consistent with the Government of India’s renewed impetus to defending India’s cultural heritage and showcasing it to the world, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) together with India’s law-enforcement businesses have been actively pursuing investigations and restitution of stolen and smuggled Indian antiquities.

As a consequence, antiquities and idols have been returned to India from varied nations, together with the US, Australia, France and Germany.

The High Commission of India (HCI) in London mentioned it had additionally been taking part in a number one position within the profitable restitutions and repatriations of India’s cultural heritage.

“HCI is currently working with various law-enforcement agencies to trace, seize and retrieve stolen artefacts. HCI is working on many such cases at present. We are confident that in coming days, in partnership with the ASI, Government of India, state and central authorities as well as UK law-enforcement agencies and independent experts, we will be successful in returning more items of our cultural heritage to India,” an announcement mentioned.

Some examples of restitution from the UK embody the Bramha-Brahmani sculpture, which was stolen from India and returned to the ASI in 2017. It has discovered a outstanding resting place at Purana Quila Museum in New Delhi, within the gallery curated by the ASI.

On August 15, 2018, a 12th century bronze statue of Bhagwan Buddha was restored to the Indian High Commission by London’s Metropolitan Police after which handed over to the Indian authorities final 12 months. PTI

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