Wednesday 23 July 2014

Canadian Authorities Hand on to Indian Statue

A sculpture that matches other sculptures of the Devi Jagadambi Temple in Khajuraho, a World Heritage site, apparently was stolen and has ended up in Canada. India wants it back under the Canadian 1977 Cultural Property Export and Import Act.(Douglas Quan, 'Canada balks at returning statue believed stolen from world heritage site in India',, July 22, 2014).
India is trying to repatriate a “voluptuous” 12th-century statue of a woman with a parrot on her bare shoulder that somehow ended up in the hands of the Department of Canadian Heritage. The life-sized sandstone statue — apparently stolen from Khajuraho, a United Nations world heritage site — has been in the possession of heritage officials in Edmonton since 2011, but Canada has not handed it over because Indian authorities can’t provide proof of ownership or that it was stolen, the Economic Times of India reported Tuesday. 
The statue is clearly a product of the Bundelkhand region and fits in perfectly with the other sculptures of Khajuraho, but the Indians cannot do anything until they can show Canadian authorities proof of ownership. It is not clear how Canadian heritage officials came into possession of the statue, apparently the Canadian customs officials had intercepted it. Certain antiquities or cultural objects considered to have historical significance to their country of origin cannot be brought into Canada without the appropriate permits.
Khajuraho is a major tourist destination about 600 kilometres southeast of New Delhi featuring medieval temples famously adorned with erotic sculptures. The temples were built during the Chandella dynasty and belonged to two religions: Hinduism and Jainism. According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization website, the Chandella rulers promoted various Tantric doctrines and sculptors of the time depicted “all aspects of life, including sex.”
The fate of the statue and ownership remain unclear.

Donna Yates tweets another article on this, nice because it has a greyish fuzzy picture.  Douglas Quan, 'India wants 12th-century statue back Heritage officials in Edmonton in possession of 'voluptuous' art', Postmedia News July 23, 2014

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