In Kathmandu, heritage activists including Rabindra Puri got in touch with UNESCO Kathmandu to put pressure on Bonhams since it was time-sensitive. He told Nepali Times, “This reminds me of the cultural repatriation of the one which I was involved in with Christie’s in 2013, the withdrawal was a success due to the teamwork.”
This is the latest in a series of repatriations of stolen Nepali objects from collectors and museums abroad. In April, an 800-year old Laxmi-Narayan figure was returned to Nepal by the Dallas Museum of Art, and will soon be restored to its original shrine in Patan’s Patko Tole. After it disappeared it had been spotted at the Sotheby’s auction in 1990 and vanished again.
Four other statues have also been repatriated in the past two months from Art Institute of Chicago, including a 13th century carved Apsara and a 14th century Buddha, a 15th century Ganesh, and a 13th-century Chaturmukhi Shivalinga.