Nepal gets four stolen idols back from US

Kathmandu, June 18

The Department of Archaeology has sent the four idols that it received from America last month to the National Museum Chhauni today. The idols were sent back to Nepal as per the letter of will of American citizen Leroy Allen Ehreinreich.

According to the department, the idols reached Nepal on May 31 last month from the sender John Mage, a law councellor in New York. Of the four idols, two are 15th century Marvijay Buddha’s idol and Sthanak Amoghpash Lokeshwor’s idol.

The remaining two are16th century Sthanak Amoghpash Lokeshwor’s idol and 17th century Manjushree’s idol. The Department of Archaeology made the idols public by organising a press conference on its premises today.

Speaking at the press conference, the department’s Director General Dr Bhesh Narayan Dahal said the idols that were either stolen or taken away from Nepal years ago were being returned after Nepal signed Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

Officials at the department said each idol costs a minimum 1.5 to two million rupees.

The idols are being returned after Lainsingh Wangdel published a book The Stolen Images of Nepal in 1989.

Theft of idols is so the matter of criminal culpability that even decades later statues that have been lifted can be returned under international law.