An ancient Indian god statue missing from a temple in Uttar Pradesh, believed to have been stolen more than 40 years ago, will soon find its way back home in India after it was discovered in a garden in home in England.
Yogini, which refers to the female goddess in Hinduism, dates back to the 8th century and disappeared from the village of Lokhari in Banda district sometime in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
This week, the High Commissioner of India in London confirmed that the procedures to bring the ancient artifact back to India are being finalized and it will be rescheduled for the next few months.
Jaspreet Singh Sukhija, First Secretary, Trade and Economy, liaison for the restoration of the sculpture, said: “The High Commission of India in London is making every effort to bring back the Yogini that has been restored. determined again”.
“Most of the formalities are complete and we are in the final stages of bringing the artifacts home. Chris Marinello and Mr. Vijay Kumar played a very important role in helping to identify a few artifacts. You will soon see Yogini assigned to the High Commission and restored to its full glory,” he said.
Marinello, a lawyer and founder of Art Recovery International, learned about the goat head sculpture when an unnamed elderly woman in England sold her hometown after her husband died.
“She was selling the house and its contents, which contained some very valuable antiques. As part of the appraisal process, we were contacted to research and investigate the artwork. found in her garden She bought the house more than 15 years ago and this explains Marinello.
He then contacted Vijay Kumar, Co-Founder of the Pride of India Project – an organization that works to restore lost Indian artefacts – and he was able to identify the sculpture. In the garden is the missing Yogini from Uttar Pradesh.
Marinello recalls: “I negotiated unconditional release with the owner, who was very cooperative.
Yogini’s journey back to its original home has been a long one, including a mysterious diversion when it flashed across the auction network more than 30 years ago. Marinello, who have restored many stolen or missing rare artifacts back to their original home, is now working to recover another idol found in Italy.
He said: “Many Western collectors, dealers and auction houses view these works of art as an asset to be admired, but ultimately profit from. their divinity and beliefs. This infinitely more important than auctioneer commissions or agent profits.
“When I see the people of India jubilant when these idols are repatriated, I know what that means to them. In a way, these gods seem to have found their way back home. the way home. I just helped them a little bit.”