Govt to bring back stolen idol of goat-headed Yogini

New Delhi (IANS) After the repatriation of the Maa Annapurna idol from Canada to Banaras after 108 years, recently, the Central government would be bringing back home the stolen stone idol of goat-headed Yogini from the UK.

The Yogini received at the High Commission on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti has been dispatched to the Archaeological Survey Of India in Delhi, officials in the High Commission of India in UK, and the Ministry of Culture, said.

“Repatriation of our rightful artifacts continues: 10th Century Goat Headed Yogini Idol which had been illegally removed from a temple in Lokhari, Uttar Pradesh is being returned to India from the UK. @NarendraModi Govt is committed to realize the Civilisational Glory of Maa Bharati,” G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Culture and Tourism, tweeted on Saturday.

Earlier, the High Commission of India in London said that it is happy to announce the recovery and repatriation of “a very special” 10th century stone idol that had been illegally removed from a temple in Lokhari, Banda, Uttar Pradesh in the 1980s.

It is learned that the said sculpture had briefly surfaced in the art market in London in 1988.

In October 2021, the High Commission of India received information about the finding of a goat-headed Yogini sculpture that had matched the description of the Lokhari set, in the garden of a private residence near London.

India Pride Project, Singapore and Art Recovery International, London swiftly assisted the High Commission of India, London in the identification and recovery of the Statue while the High Commission of India processed the requisite documentation with the local and Indian authorities.

Interestingly, a similar sculpture of the buffalo-headed Vrishanana Yogini, apparently stolen from the same temple at Lokhari village, had been recovered and repatriated by the Embassy of India, Paris in 2013. The Vrishanana Yogini was installed in the National Museum in Delhi in September 2013.

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