The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on Wednesday announced that it would return another sculpture to Nepal.
The 10th-century sculpture of Lord Shiva, stolen nearly 50 years ago from Kankeshwori Temple (Kanga: Ajima), is returning to Nepal.
The sculpture depicts Lord Shiva, a revered Hindu deity, with two disciples in an abode atop Mount Kailash.
However, the museum has issued 45 days’ public notice as per the deaccessioning plan of the idol from the museum on June 14, 2021.
During that period, no complaint claiming the idol was registered, so it has built a legal base to return the sculpture to its country of origin, Nepal.
Sarita Subedi, chief of the Curio Department and archaeological officer of Department of Archaeology (DoA), said that museum had sent a letter to Nepal government saying it would return the idol to Nepal.
The museum has expressed its willingness to return the idol through an email, and the museum has also accepted the proposal to pay for the transportation and insurance costs, she said.
The idol was stolen from the premises of Kankeshwori Temple (Kanga: Ajima) of Ward No. 19, Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
Curio chief Subedi said that earlier idols of several gods and goddess were placed on the eastern, western, northern and southern parts of the temple’s compound wall, which got destroyed in 2015 earthquake but now are rebuilt.
The locals don’t know the actual year when the idol was stolen. Nor do they have any idea about its original place. But it is believed that the idol was placed in the western part of the wall.
A book by Lain Singh Bangdel ‘Inventory of Stone Sculptures’, published in 1995, along with the recently submitted photographs by Maxwell K Hearn, mentions that the 10th-century sculpture depicts Lord Shiva with two disciples in an abode atop Mount Kailash.
Source : TRN,