By Poonam Joshi London [UK]July 30 (ANI): An ancient and priceless statue of Lord Shiva, stolen from a temple in Rajasthan and smuggled into England, is set to be returned to its proper place in India.
The 4 foot tall statue made in the late 9th century ‘Prathihara’ style from Rajasthan is said to have been stolen from Gateshwar temple in Baroli, Rajasthan in 1998.
Then it emerged that the statue had been brought to England where it was found among the collections of a wealthy private collector.
After the combined efforts of British authorities and Indian officials, the statue was voluntarily submitted by collectors to the Indian High Commission in London in 2005.
Since then, the Shiva statue – which poses ‘chatura’ with Jatamakuta and Trinetra – has boasted a place in the historic and magnificent Indian House in the heart of London.
In 2017, officials from the Indian Archaeological Survey (ASI) were invited to inspect the statue, confirming that it was indeed a statue stolen from a temple in Baroli.
The statue is now ready to be returned to its original home in Rajasthan.
This is the latest in a series of invaluable artifacts and antiques that were taken from India and which have been tracked and tracked in operations carried out by the Indian government and its partners in the UK, US, Australia, France and Germany.
Among the notable examples include the famous Brahma-Brahmani statue which was stolen from the Rani-Ki Vav World Heritage site and returned to ASI in 2017.
The following year, the 12th-century Bronze statue of Bhagawan Buddha was changed to High Commissioner by the London Metropolitan Police. This was submitted to the Minister of State for Culture by the Minister of Finance in 2019.
On August 15, 2019, two other antiques – the 17th Century Bronze idol of Navanitha Krishna and the 2nd century Stone Sculpture carving motif were returned to the High Commissioner by the United States Embassy. (ANI)