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UK police return Buddha statue to India 57 years after theft

/ 08:35 PM August 15, 2018

The ancient Buddha statue displayed at the High Commission of India in London on Aug. 15, 2018, during a ceremony to hand it back to India, 57 years after it was stolen from an Indian museum and found its way to UK’s art dealer market. AP

LONDON — Police in London have returned a 12th century statue of Buddha to India after recovering it 57 years after it was stolen.

Police handed over the bronze statue with silver inlay during a ceremony Wednesday in London marking India’s Independence Day.


The Buddha was one of 14 statues stolen from a museum in Nalanda, eastern India, in 1961.

Police were called after representatives from the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art and the India Pride Project noticed the statue at a trade fair. The dealer and the owner cooperated fully and, upon learning the item had been stolen, agreed to return it.


Detective Constable Sophie Hayes says the case is “a true example of cooperation between law enforcement, the trade and scholars.” /ee

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TAGS: 12th century statue of Buddha, India, United Kingdom
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