30- second read. Written by Amrita Prakash, a grade 7 student.
A stone statue of Lord Shiva, which is currently in the UK, will be returned to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) India soon. The stone Nataraj, a rare statue from the 9th century, i is almost four feet tall and is a rare depiction of Lord Shiva in the Prathihara style.
How did it end up in the UK?
In February 1998, this statue was stolen from a temple (Ghateshwar temple) in Rajasthan and smuggled (taken illegally) to the UK. This was discovered in 2003. To bring this back the UK authorities had to be contacted who then went to the private collector who had the idol in London. In 2005, he agreed to return the idol to the Indian High Commission in the UK.
And this is not the only statue to have been stolen. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been trying to investigate and get back other stolen Indian antiquities. Many of these have been returned to India from countries like France, Germany, Australia, the UK and the US.
Some examples include the Bramha-Brahmani sculpture, which was stolen from India and taken to the UK, but was returned to the ASI in 2017. It is now in Purana Quila Museum in New Delhi. Another example is the 12th century bronze statue of Gautam Buddha that was brought back in August 2018.