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Hindu Goddess sculpture robbed from temple Returned to India – ARTnews.com

An ancient sculpture of a Hindu goddess that was stolen from a temple in the Banda district of Uttar Pradesh and trafficked in London in the 1980s will now be returned to India, Guardians report.

The High Commission of India in London will officially accept the return of the artifact, which depicts a goddess seated on her head with a goat’s head. The ancient stone symbol, dating from the 8th or 9th century, is part of a group of Hindu yogini figures that were stolen between 1979 and 1982 from the grounds of a temple near the village of Lokhari.

The restoration was assisted by Christopher Marinello, an attorney and artist replacement London-based specialist. Marinello is assisted by Vijay Kumar, an expert in the restoration of Indian cultural artifacts to repatriate this land. The two worked with the Archaeological Survey of India and the Department of Revenue Intelligence and the Metropolitan Police of London.

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When the sculpture went up for sale in London in 1988, it was estimated to cost around £15,000 ($19,000). The lot was listed in the auction house, but was later withdrawn from sale before being offered for sale. Despite a five-year investigation into the auction house’s looting of antiquities launched by UK authorities that same year, the identity of the sender was never revealed. The sculpture was mentioned in the 1997 book by British journalist Peter Watson Sotheby’s: The Inside Story, which examined the auction house’s alleged conduct in relation to the sale of looted art from religious sites.

Decades after appearing in auction listings where it was for sale, Marinello found the statue last month in the garden of a British home, where it was covered in moss. The worn state is visible from outside conditions. The owner of the UK home where the work resides had long been unaware of the religious subject’s history when she hired Marinello’s company, Art Recovery International, to assist with the sale of works from any property. its real estate.

Marinello said to Guardians this case brings to light “the multitude of objects looted in English gardens and collections related to colonial history.”

A statement from Sotheby’s in the same report notes that antique sellers’ compliance standards are higher today. Sotheby’s says it is “supported by a world-class compliance team who work closely with external agencies to ensure that we operate with the highest levels of business integrity.” .”

https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/looted-hindu-goddess-sculpture-returned-india-1234612547/ Hindu Goddess sculpture robbed from temple Returned to India – ARTnews.com

Yasmin Harisha

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