The Rubin Museum of Art to return two relics from its collection to Nepal

the Rubin Art Museum in New York announced that he would return two relics from his collection to Nepal after they were found smuggled from two religious sites in the Kathmandu Valley.

A memorandum of understanding was signed on Monday by Bishnu Prasad Gautam, acting Nepalese consul general in New York, and Jorrit Britschgi, executive director of the Rubin Museum.

“The Rubin Museum agreed to return the sculptures after identifying them and providing the required proof of their origins,” Gautam told Kantipur, the Post’s sister newspaper.

“Lost Arts of Nepal”, a group working to identify and locate lost Nepal artefacts scattered around the world, in September said he had located the two relics – a Flying Gandharva from the 14th century and another the upper part of a Torana from the 17th centuryat the Rubin Art Museum.

Nepalese heritage recovery campaign had then written to the museum for the return of the objects. The Department of Archeology then provided information to determine the ownership and origin of the works of art.

The museum said in a statement that these two relics were the first items in its collection to have been obtained illegally, the The New York Times reported.

According to museum officials, the Torana was lost from the main gate of Yampi Mahavihara / I-Bahi, Patan, Lalitpur. According to museum officials, the artwork arrived at the museum in 2010. The flying Apsara artwork is from Keshchandra Mahavihara, Itum Bahal, Kathmandu, which was lost in 1999 and added to the museum’s collection. in 2003.

According to a statement released by the Nepalese Consulate General in New York, Britschgi, upon signing the MoU, said: “As custodians of the art of our collection, the Rubin recognizes that we have an ongoing duty to carefully research the art and objects we collect and let’s exhibit. “

“The theft of archaeological objects continues to be a major concern in the art world. Rubin’s collection activities adhere to the highest standards of ethical and professional practice related to provenance, ”said Britschgi. “We believe it is our responsibility to address and resolve cultural property issues, including helping to facilitate the return of the two objects in question.”

Gautam, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the Rubin Museum.

“Rubin’s proactive and warm response and thoughtful collaboration have positively contributed to Nepal’s national efforts to recover and restore lost artifacts,” Gautam said. “I expressed my deep gratitude to the Rubin Museum, its Executive Director, Board of Trustees, academics and museum officials for their initiative and cooperation in returning these artefacts to Nepal.”

Gautam also appreciated the support received from the media, civil society and others in the business, the statement said.

The Nepalese Consulate General in New York and the Rubin Museum have expressed their willingness to work closely together to promote art and culture, including Himalayan art, saying these collaborative efforts contribute to the preservation cultural heritage and further strengthen the long-standing people. -the relations between Nepal and the United States of America.

“The Consulate General continues to work on the country’s national efforts in repatriating lost cultural property,” the statement read.

In December, government officials returned a sculpture depicting the Hindu goddess Lakshmi-Narayan on the pedestal of her temple in Patan after the Dallas Museum of Art returned it.

Gautam called the signing of the agreement a new step in the recovery of lost artifacts.

“The Rubin Museum of Art has agreed to cover the cost of transporting the relics to Nepal,” Gautam said. “These two relics have already been removed from the exhibits. “

According to Gautam, the two relics are expected to arrive in Nepal during the third week of May.

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