New York museum to return stolen Nepali idolsNepal has signed an agreement with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to return stolen idols of Uma Maheshwor and Lord Buddha to the country.
Nepal has signed an agreement with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to return stolen idols of Uma Maheshwor and Lord Buddha to the country.
Nepal’s Counsul-General in New York Madhu Marasani and museum’s Chiarperson Daniel H Weiss signed the deal to this effect on Monday.
The Uma Maheshwor idol of Tangalhiti, Patan, is believed to be made between 12th and 13th century, while that of the Lord Buddha dates back to 11th-12th century. Both the idols were stolen during the 1980s. Art historian late Lain Singh Bangdel, in his book ‘Stolen Images of Nepal’, had stated the statue of Uma Maheshwor was submitted to the museum in 1983. The statue of Lord Buddha was donated to the museum by a private collector in 2015.
The museum has already removed both the idols from display after learning that they had been stolen from Nepal. They are likely to arrive in Nepal by this April after completing required customs procedures.
During the function held in New York on Monday, Consular General Marasini thanked the museum authority for their help in returning the valuable items and expressed belief that such work will discourage people involved in stolen statues.
Marasini also assured Nepal’s commitment towards protection of the valuable artefacts. Museum’s Chair Weiss said that they would remove all stolen items from display.