Nepal Reclaims Priceless Surya Statue: A Triumph in Cultural Repatriation
London — In a remarkable achievement for Nepal’s cultural heritage, the Embassy of Nepal proudly announced the successful repatriation of a valuable cultural artefact on July 20, 2023. The cherished grey limestone Surya Statue with Attendants, dating back to the 11th century, has finally returned to its rightful home after being listed as a stolen item for several decades.
The Surya Statue, an exquisite representation of the revered sun deity accompanied by attendants, was originally believed to have been lost from Patan in the year 1985 A.D. The renowned artist Lain Singh Bangdel had listed it among the “Stolen Images of Nepal,” drawing attention to its cultural significance and the urgency of its recovery.
Weighing an impressive 41 kgs, the Surya Statue stands 79 cm tall, with dimensions of 49 cm in length and 15 cm in width. Its unique craftsmanship and historical importance make it an invaluable piece of Nepal’s ancient heritage.
The road to repatriation was made possible through the cooperation of a British private collector, who came forward to return the artefact to its rightful place. With gratitude and appreciation, the statue was handed over to the Embassy of Nepal, signifying the importance of international collaboration in preserving cultural treasures.
The Department of Archaeology of the Government of Nepal will take charge of ensuring the Surya Statue’s safe journey back to its original location. Once returned to its place of origin, this priceless artefact will be carefully safeguarded, cherished, and made accessible to the public, providing invaluable insights into Nepal’s rich cultural past.
This successful repatriation represents a significant milestone in Nepal’s ongoing efforts to reclaim and reinstate lost cultural artefacts. The return of the Surya Statue demonstrates the nation’s unwavering commitment to preserving its heritage and fostering cultural awareness among its people.
The Embassy of Nepal, along with various governmental and non-governmental organizations, continues to work diligently to identify and recover other precious cultural artefacts that have been displaced from the country over time.
The restoration of the Surya Statue to its rightful place is a momentous occasion that fills the hearts of Nepalese citizens with pride and joy. It serves as a reminder of the nation’s rich history and cultural heritage, reinforcing a shared sense of identity and unity.
As the Surya Statue stands tall once more on its native soil, it symbolizes the resilience of Nepal’s cultural legacy and a collective determination to safeguard its unique heritage for generations to come.