NEW DELHI: A 10th-century idol of Shiva that went missing from a Rajasthan temple about 20 years ago will soon be back in India. This will be the 25th such antique to be brought back to India from foreign countries in the last four years.
A senior official of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said that a team of officials had recently visited London to check the authenticity of the statue and will submit a report to the ministry of external affairs. “The team has confirmed that the statue is genuine,” said the official.
According to officials, the ASI has retrieved 24 antiques from other countries from 2014 onwards. In maximum cases, these antiques have been voluntarily returned by the foreign countries.
The official said that the idol was stolen from Barauli in Rajasthan in 1996. During investigations it was revealed that the idol was in a private museum in London. Subsequently, the idol was given to the Indian high commission in London.
Back in India
In the year 2014, the then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had handed over two antiques to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. These were stolen from temples in Tamil Nadu.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had in the year 2015 handed over to the PM a 10th century Durga idol which had gone missing from a temple in Kashmir. 16 antiquities have been brought back from the US alone.