The Metropolitan Museum of Art said that returning these sculptures to India is warranted and that it is grateful for its collaborative relationship with institutions in India.
One of the US' largest museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is all set to return an eighth-century stone sculpture of Goddess Durga and a limestone sculpture from the third century to India later this week.
In 2015, The Met informed that the stone sculpture of Durga Mahishasuramardini was donated to the museum.
As per a report in NDTV, in the course of their research, the museum discovered that the sculpture of Goddess Durga originally belonged to the Chakravarteswara Temple at Baijnath in Himachal Pradesh, India.
The staff at the museum identified the sculpture from a publication, 'The Archaeology of Kumann’ by KP Nautiyal, dating back to 1969. Historically, Baijnath was a medieval capital in Uttarakhand, in northern India.
Another limestone sculpture ‘Head of a Male Deity’ was also traced back to India. The museum staff discovered that it was a part of the excavated inventory of Nagarjunakonda Site Museum in India.
While the limestone sculpture was donated to US museum in 1986, the stone sculpture of Durga Mahishasuramardini was donated in 2015.
The museum affirmed that returning these sculptures to India is warranted, and that it is grateful for its long-standing, collaborative relationship with colleagues and scholarly institutions in India.
The museum got in touch with the Archaeological Survey of India, and the two signed an agreement in April this year for the return of the sculptures.Rock art has always been found in opulence in India as compared to the rest of the world. After the discovery of these sculptures, the Archaeological Society and the Consulate General of India are working tirelessly with US authorities to identify other Indian archaeological artefacts to bring them back to India.