Slok Gyawali, founder of Nepal Pride Project based in Portland, Oregon who has worked persistently on repatriating the Uma-Maheswar, has been in touch with the Denver Art Museum.
In one e-mail exchange acquired by Nepali Times, the Museum wrote: ‘We continue to have confidence in the propriety of the provenance of the piece. Though we had been aware of the Stolen Images of Nepal publication, we are unaware of any substantiated claims of theft of this piece; indeed, other publications discuss the piece without reference to a theft.’
Gyawali then got in touch with 90-year-old Ted Ullman, scion of Jane and Edwin Ullman. He told Gyawali that his parents are not to blame, and after hearing from the Denver Art Museum he will be happy to write a letter of support for Nepal’s efforts to repatriate this and other religion objects from Asia.
However, the 90-year-old in another e-mail wrote, “I remain very conflicted and have decided that I should not bring this up with the Museum which has already made their policy clear to me.”
The Nepal Embassy in Washington DC told Nepali Times it is in touch ‘informally’ with the Denver Art Museum. It added that the Department of Archaeology had finished its forensic archaeological report and submitted it to the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kathmandu is waiting for the report to begin official correspondence with the Denver museum.
Back where they belong, Bhrikuti Rai