A uncommon late ninth century stone statue of Lord Shiva, which was stolen from a temple in Rajasthan and smuggled to the UK, will likely be returned to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Thursday.
The stone Nataraj or Natesha murti, in “chatura pose with jatamakuta and trinetra” and nearly four-feet-tall, is a uncommon depiction of Lord Shiva within the Prathihara type.
It was stolen in February 1998 from Ghateshwar Temple in Baroli, Rajasthan. In 2003, it got here to gentle that the statue had been smuggled out to the UK.
“When this info was obtained in London, the UK authorities have been contacted and with their help the matter was pursued with the personal collector, who was in possession of the idol in London. He voluntarily returned the idol to the Indian Excessive Fee within the UK in 2005,” mentioned the Excessive Fee of India within the UK.
In August 2017, a crew of ASI specialists visited the India Home and examined the idol, which took delight of place contained in the constructing”s essential foyer. The specialists confirmed that it’s the identical statue that was stolen from Ghateshwar Temple.
HCI with help of HM Authorities repatriates to Archeological Survey of India, the 10th Century idol of Lord Shiva – ‘Natesh’, stolen in 1998 from Ghateshwar Temple, Baroli, Rajasthan. #IndiaUK@TheNehruCentre@DCMS@ASIGoI@authoramish@MEAIndiapic.twitter.com/vr6N770ok47
— India within the UK (@HCI_London) July 29, 2020
An official Indian authorities communique mentioned that consistent with the federal government of India”s renewed impetus to defending India”s cultural heritage and showcasing it to the world, the Ministry of Exterior Affairs (MEA) together with India”s legislation enforcement businesses have been actively pursuing investigations and restitution of stolen and smuggled Indian antiquities.
In consequence, antiquities and idols have been returned to India from varied international locations, together with the US, Australia, France and Germany.
The Excessive Fee of India (HCI) in London mentioned it has additionally been taking part in a number one function within the profitable restitutions and repatriations of India’s cultural heritage.
“HCI is presently working with varied legislation enforcement businesses to hint, seize and retrieve stolen artefacts. HCI is engaged on many such instances at current. We’re assured that in coming days, in partnership with the ASI, authorities of India, state and central authorities in addition to UK legislation enforcement businesses and impartial specialists, we will likely be profitable in returning extra objects of our cultural heritage to India,” an announcement mentioned.
Some examples of restitution from the UK embrace 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 Bhagawan Buddha was restored to the Indian Excessive Fee by London’s Metropolitan Police after which handed over to the Indian authorities final yr.
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