New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman handed over an antique Bronze Idol of Buddha to Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel in New Delhi. This Buddha statue is documented as “Seated Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra” Ht. 6.5″ Circa 12th Century AD.
The Bronze Idol of ‘Buddha seated in the Bhumisparsha Mudra’ was stolen on 22nd August, 1961 from Nalanda Museum of ASI and had resurfaced at an auction in Masstricht (organized by a London based dealer Rossi and Rossi in Feb 2018). After receiving this information, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officer in London contacted the Art and Antique Unit of Metropolitan Police. ASI also certified that the statue was stolen from Archaeological Museum, Nalanda.
Scotland Yard handed over the statue to the Indian High Commissioner to UK, YK Sinha on 15th August 2018 to mark India’s Independence Day.
The Finance Minister and the Culture Minister both expressed their happiness at the return of the idol.