News World UK hands over to India statues stolen from Hindu temple in 1978

UK hands over to India statues stolen from Hindu temple in 1978

Britain has returned three antique bronze sculptures to Indian authorities more than 40 years after they were stolen from a Hindu temple in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

A total of four bronzes from the Vijayanagara period, which lasted from the 14th to the 17th century, were stolen in 1978 from a temple dedicated to the god Vishnu in Nagapattinam.

The thieves were convicted in India at the time but it was only in 2019 that three of the statues were found, when the Indian High Commission in London discovered that one of them was being offered for sale by a UK-based dealer.

Alerted by the embassy, the Metropolitan Police’s Art and Antiques Unit investigated and was able to establish that the dealer had purchased the item in good faith.

Once he had been shown evidence that the bronze had been stolen, he voluntarily handed over the sculpture, and identified two additional ones from the same group, the police said. All three will now be returned to their homeland.

The Indian High Commission tweeted photographs of the statues, taken during a formal handover to the government of Tamil Nadu, describing the event as an “auspicious moment”.

The Metropolitan Police said it was proud to have been involved in the return of the bronzes to India.

“Not only are they beautiful and historically significant, they are of course of religious importance so it’s particularly gratifying that they are to be returned to the temple from which they were taken,” said Detective Chief Inspector Tim Wright in a statement. (Reuters)

Top Stories

Hotline 1471 for those feeling stressed and despaired due to the coronavirus

Feeling stressed and in despair because of personal, social and economic consequences of the covid-19 pandemic? Then call the Citizens’ Line on 1471 and...

Number of Cypriot officials attacked through fake social media accounts on the rise

The number of Cypriot officials coming under attack through fake social media accounts is rising year in year out, according to official data. Specifically, data...

Cyprus’ proposals for EU Recovery and Resilience Facility funds before Commission

Cyprus’ plan of proposals to receive about €968 million of funding from the European Union Recovery and Resilience Facility – Next Generation EU were...

Economic sentiment drops by 5.2 points in January due to covid lockdown

Economic sentiment in Cyprus deteriorated this month with the indicator going down by 5.2 points compared to December 2020 because of the new lockdown...

‘Crazy and evil’: Bill Gates surprised by pandemic conspiracies

Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates says he has been taken aback by the volume of "crazy" and "evil" conspiracy theories about him spreading...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...