A 12th-century statue of Buddha, stolen from India nearly 60 years ago, is to be returned to the country, after it was discovered at a trade fair in the UK.
The bronze sculpture was one of 14 statues, ransacked from the Archaeological Museum in Nalanda, eastern India, in 1961. It is believed it changed hands several times over the years, before eventually being sent to a London antiques dealer for sale.
The sculpture will be handed to the Indian high commissioner to the UK, YK Sinha, during a ceremony coinciding with India's independence day celebrations.
The statue was identified at a trade fair in Mar, by members of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA), an organisation working to preserve cultural heritage, and the India Pride Project, which aims to recover stolen artefacts.
Police said, the current owner and dealer were unaware of the statue's history and agreed for it to be returned to India.
Michael Ellis, the UK minister for arts, heritage and tourism, said, Britain was one of the first countries to recover one of the 14 elusive Buddha statues. Numerous objects from the 80-year-old Sicilian's former dealings are believed to still be in the ancient art market, and identification usually results in their surrender and repatriation, the British Guardian newspaper reported.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK