A statue stolen 35 years ago from Patan exhibited at Dallas Museum of ArtThe statue is among one of the artefacts mentioned in Lain Singh Bangdel’s book ‘Stolen Images of Nepal’.
Dallas Museum of Art in downtown Dallas, Texas recently exhibited a statue of Laxmi-Narayan, which was stolen 35 years ago from Nepal.
“This 15th-century sculpture, 34” tall, was worshipped in the Narayan Temple in Patko Tol, near Durbar Square, Kathmandu (sic),” wrote Erin L Thompson, professor of art crime at City University of New York, in her twitter thread.
The stolen relic was also mentioned in Lain Singh Bangdel’s book, Stolen Images of Nepal (page 248). The book mentions the valuable archaeological artefact was stolen in 1984. In Bangdel’s book, the statue is described as that of Laxmi-Narayan, with the image of both Lord Narayan and goddess Laxmi sculpted on the same statue.
Art experts and curators have expressed curiosity at the presence and display of the stolen relic in an American art museum.
When the image of the stolen deity surfaced on the internet with its possibility of being of a Nepali origin, Damador Gautam, the current director-general of the Department of Archaeology, showed an interest in hosting an internet poll as an initiative to bring back the artefact to its original place.
“The stolen image can be brought back to Nepal following the 1970 UNESCO treaty, which says that cultural artefacts cannot be exported and imported illegally,” said Gautam.
But even before this, many stolen statues illustrated in Bangdel’s book have been brought back from countries like America, England, Germany through UNESCO’s Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.