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UNESCO: US restores to Nepal a stolen Lakshami-Narayan statue

UNESCO: US restores to Nepal a stolen Lakshami-Narayan statue


Mukund Patel 

Chicago: The United States has restored a historic statue of Lord Lakshmi Narayan, also known as Lord Vasudeva-Kamalaj, to Nepal from where it was stolen in 1984.

Representing the US government, Timothy N. Dunham, Deputy Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), handed over the statue to Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Nepal’s Ambassador in Washington, last week.

The magnificent statue, dating back to the medieval era, was reported stolen from the Narayan Temple at Lalitpur, Nepal, and illegally transported to the USA in the late 1980s.

Ervin Massinga, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the US Department of State, expressed happiness to be part of the handover ceremony held at the Nepalese Embassy and assured Kathmandu that Washington would continue to cooperate with Nepal in the preservation and protection of its cultural heritage.

Dunham said the two countries recognized the impact and value of protecting and preserving cultural heritage and will continue to work in partnership to return these valuable pieces back home.

Ambassador Khatiwada said he was grateful for this gesture and appreciated the US government for restoring the lost artifact to its original place in Nepal. This would contribute to deepening the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Restoration of the artifact was done within the framework of the UNESCO Convention on Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, 1970.




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