October 24, 2021, Sunday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

US museum returns 10th century stolen Shiva statue to Nepal

The Nepal Weekly
October 5, 2021

The United States has returned tenth century Shiva statue, which was stolen in the past, to its country of origin Nepal.

The Consulate General of Nepal in New York and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, on Thursday, announced the return of a tenth century stone sculpture, Shiva in Himalayan Abode with Ascetics, to Nepal, according to a press release issued by the Consulate general of Nepal to USA. An agreement to this effect was signed by Bishnu Prasad Gautam, acting consul general, and Daniel H Weiss, President and CEO of the museum.

The sculpture depicts Lord Shiva, a revered Hindu deity, with his two ascetic disciples in a mountain abode at Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. The 13 inch tall stone sculpture was sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1995 and remained in its collection until recently.

A research conducted by the Museum based on renowned artist Lain Singh Bangdel’s book, Inventory of Stone Sculptures of Kathmandu Valley, determined that the object belonged to the Kankeswari Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, and that it should be returned to Nepal,says the statement. The museum contacted the Government of Nepal earlier this year to offer the return of the sculpture, and was arranging for the object to be transported to Nepal.

Speaking on the occasion, the acting consul general said, “We are grateful to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, its president and CEO, the board of trustees and the museum’s officials for their initiative and cooperation in returning this lost artifact back to Nepal.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s president and CEO said that the museum is committed to the responsible acquisition of archaeological art, and applies rigorous provenance standards both to new acquisitions and the study of works long in its collection in an ongoing effort to learn as much as possible about ownership history.