Two Nepali artefacts have been located at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, USA.
The artefacts are a 14th-century figure of a flying Gandharva from Itumbahal, Kathmandu, and a 17th-century Toran. Both are made of wood.
According to Lost Arts of Nepal, a Facebook page that tracks the whereabouts of Nepal’s stolen artefacts, the Gandharva was stolen from Itumbahal, Kathmandu, and the Toran from the Yampi Mahavihar, Lalitpur. The exact date of theft has not been ascertained.
The former has been categorised as ‘Garland Bearing Apsaras’ by the museum and the latter has been labelled ‘Upper Section of A Torana.’
The location of the artefacts was revealed on Friday by the Nepal Heritage Recovery Campaign (NHRC). The Campaign, which is a not-for-profit organisation that calls itself a collaborative effort of Nepali and foreign individuals to promote the return of the statues of our gods, goddesses, Buddhas and bodhisattvas stolen and smuggled from Nepal, informed of the articles at its formal launching ceremony organised at Patan Durbar Square on Friday.
The Campaign was launched jointly by Chiri Babu Maharjan, Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, and Damodar Gautam, director general of the Department of Archaeology (DoA) in the presence of heritage lovers, activists and officials.
At the launching, Kanak Mani Dixit, vice chairman of the Campaign, informed that on Friday, the NHRC wrote to 15 museums around the world, asking them to review their holdings from Nepal and start the process of restitution if they find that any items with them came from theft.
He also shared that the NHRC had located 21 stolen objects currently in various places around the world, in addition to the two artefacts found at the Rubin Museum, and had begun a process of recovering 18 of them.
The NHRC declared objectives are to document theft of tangible heritage from Nepal, develop and maintain a comprehensive database, maintain required communication internationally, work with government bodies to ensure the restitution of the goddesses and gods, to work to place the returned objects in a dedicated museum or gallery where local restitution is not possible and to alert individuals and institutions that hold looted tangible heritage of Nepal about the true ownership of the artefacts. The Campaign is led by Riddhi Baba Pradhan, former director general of DoA and cultural historian Satya Mohan Joshi is its patron.
Source : TRN,