New Delhi: A 10th century Shiva statue, stolen more than 20 years ago from Ghateshwar temple in Rajasthan’s Baroli, was sent back to India from the United Kingdom. The statue will be handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Indian high commissioner to UK Gaitri Issar Kumar said, “High Commission of India in London in collaboration with her majesty’s government has been able to restore this priceless piece of art, national heritage back to our people”.

The stone statue was stolen in 1998 but was returned to Indian High Commission in London in 2005 after it emerged that it was smuggled out of India. The statue is four feet tall and depicts Lord Shiva in Chatura Nataraja pose.

The Indian High Commission in a statement said, “We are confident that in coming days, in partnership with the ASI, GOI state and Central authorities as well as the UK law enforcement agencies and the independent experts, we will be successful in returning more items of our cultural heritage to India.”

The Indian mission in London has been able to bring back stolen Indian art from the UK.

On 2019 Independence Day, two antiques–a 17th Century Bronze idol of Navanitha Krishna and a second-century limestone carved pillar motif was returned to the Indian High Commissioner by the Embassy of US.

In 2018, a 12th Century Bronze statue of Bhagawan Buddha was restituted to the Indian High Commissioner by the London Metropolitan Police. In 2017, the Bramha- Brahmani sculpture, stolen from the World heritage site Rani-Ki Vav, was returned to India from the UK.

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