India gets back a 12th century Buddha statue from London’s Metropolitan Police. The bronze Buddha statue, it was stolen from a museum at Nalanda in Bihar nearly 60 years ago, from an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) site museum in 1961. This was one of the 14 statues stolen from the museum in Nalanda, Bihar. The statue is believed to have changed several hands over the years before finally surfacing at a London auction.
It was handed over Indian High Commissioner of the UK Y K Sinha yesterday in a ceremony to mark India’s 72nd Independence Day. Sinha described the return of the “priceless Buddha” as a “wonderful gesture” and a particular honour given his own roots in Bihar.
The statue was first identified in March of this year by India Pride Project’s Vijay Kumar and Association for Research into Crimes Against Art’s functionary Lynda Albertson, who alerted the police. Both the dealer and the “owner” of the statue were subsequently made aware of the statue’s stolen nature, who then fully cooperated the Metropolitan Police’s Art and Antiques Unit.