The United Kingdom has returned a tenth century Lord Shiva statue which was stolen from a temple in Rajasthan, and smuggled into the country, more than 20 years ago.

The four-feet tall Natesha Murti statue, which portrays the Lord in the Chatura Nataraja pose, was stolen from Baroli's Ghateshwar Temple in 1998, and in 2003, the authorities got news that the statue had been smuggled into the UK.

It was then found under the possession of a private collector, who voluntarily returned it to the Indian High Commission in the UK in 2005. It has since been prominently displayed in India House in London.

In August 2017, a team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) visited the India House to examine the idol and confirmed that it was the same one that had been stolen from the Rajasthan temple.

The Indian High Commission in the UK recently took to Twitter to announce the statue is in the process of being sent to the ASI.

This is not the first time priceless items taken from India had been returned to the country.

Other artifacts recovered and repatriated to India include a 17th century bronze idol of Navanitha Krishna and a 2nd century limestone carved pillar motif returned by the US embassy on August 15, 2019; a 12th-century bronze statue of Bhagawan Buddha was restituted to the High Commissioner by the London Metropolitan Police in 2018; and a Bramha- Brahmani sculpture, stolen from the World heritage site Rani-Ki Vav being returned to ASI from the UK in 2017.

Source: Times of India
Photo source: Twitter