UK hands over stolen sculptures to India

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The British police handed over three sculptures, dating back to the 15th century A.D, that is said to have been stolen from a temple in Tamil Nadu 40 years ago, were handed over to the Indian High Commission in London on Tuesday, a statement read by the Ministry of Culture. Prahlad Patel, Union Minister Culture and Tourism attended the handing over ceremony of the three sculptures virtually at the High Commission of India, London. The sculptures are that of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana and Goddess Sita.

Expressing happiness and gratitude on the occasion, Patel thanked the British Police, Government of Tamil Nadu, Archaeological Survey of India and the High Commission of India, London for the efforts they put into in getting the idols back to its originating country. Patel, in the statement, added, “It is a matter of happiness that since independence, we received only 13 sculptures from foreign countries but since 2014 we have received more than 40 sculptures and we are trying to get more sculptures in the coming years. We are talking to the British Museum to bring the Vag Devi idol back to India.”

The bronze idols are of Lord Rama, Lord Laxmana and Goddess Sita are 90.5 cm, 78 cm, and 745 cm in height respectively and are considered as unique pieces of art. Dating back to the 15th century, the sculptures were stolen from the Nagapattinam district of TN in 1978 from a Vijayanagar period temple. The idols are soon expected to come back to India and be placed in a temple in Tamil Nadu.

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