London: There is good news for Shiva devotees. Preparations are being made to bring back the ancient statue of Lord Shiva stolen from Rajasthan from UK (UK).
This 4-foot-tall Shiva statue, built in the ‘Pratihara’ style of Rajasthan at the end of the 9th century, was stolen in 1998 from the Ghateshwar temple in Barauli, Rajasthan. After this, it was revealed that the idol had been smuggled and taken to Britain. Indian authorities informed Britain about this and the idol was recovered from a private collector.
The collector voluntarily handed over the statue to the Indian High Commission in London, in 2005, due to the joint efforts of British officials and Indian officials, since then the statue was the same, which has now cleared the way to bring it back to Rajasthan.
In 2017, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials were invited to inspect the statue. Those who confirmed that this is the same idol that was stolen from the temple of Barauli in Rajasthan.
In the recent past, the Indian government has been successful in tracking and bringing back many valuable artifacts taken by smuggling abroad. Now the idol of Lord Shiva has also joined this list of success. In 2017, the statue of Brahma-Brahmani stolen from the World Heritage site Rani’s Vav was returned to the Archaeological Survey of India. This idol was stolen and taken to London.
In 2018, the 12th century bronze statue of Bhagwan Buddha was handed over to the Indian High Commissioner by the London Metropolitan Police. Similarly, on August 15, 2019, a 17th-century bronze statue of Lord Krishna and a second-century limestone carved pillar were returned to India by the United States.