Statue stolen 37 years ago returned to Nepal by United States
WASHINGTON: The US government has returned to Nepal an ancient statue stolen from Nepal 37 years ago. The statue of Vasudev-Kamalaja, also known as Laxminarayan, smuggled from Nepal to the United States in 1984, was handed over to Ambassador Yubaraj Khatiwada by Timothy N. Dunham, Deputy Assistant Director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The statue was handed over at a ceremony held at the Nepali Embassy in Washington. According to the Embassy, the statue is a historical statue of a temple in Patan. It has been on display at the Dallas Museum of Arts in Texas since 1990.
The statue symbolizes Bishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. At 33.5 inches high and 19.25 inches wide, the statue is believed to have been made in medieval Nepal.
The statue was reportedly stolen from the Narayan Temple in Lalitpur in 1984 and brought to the United States illegally, the Embassy said. The Embassy has stated that the statue will be brought to Nepal after completing the necessary provisions including the UNESCO Convention and other appropriate procedures.
Addressing the handover ceremony, Ambassador Khatiwada appreciated the US government for its assistance in returning the statue.
Ambassador Khatiwada thanked the US Government for its assistance in restoring this important art to its former place in Nepal, the Embassy said, adding that the cooperation between the two countries in preserving cultural heritage would further strengthen the multilateral and long-term cooperation between the two countries.