KATHMANDU: A 300-year-old gold-plated statuette of a Hindu deity was stolen from the ancient town of Patan on the outskirts of capital Kathmandu, police said today.

The figure of the Laxminarayan deity was taken last week from Patan’s Durbar Square, part of the Kathmandu Valley UNESCO world heritage site, police inspector Ramesh Parajuli said.

“The gold-plated idol was the major tourist attraction at Patan Durbar Square. It is still unclear how it disappeared,” Parajuli said.

The robbers removed the 23 centimetre tall statuette from a traditional stone water sprout in a palace courtyard. “It went missing while the renovation work was being carried out. We are investigating the incident,” Parajuli said.

Durbar Square at Patan is famous for exquisite sculptures and woodcarvings.