900 Year Old Sculpture Returns Home At Last

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Parrot Lady Sculpture Found to Be Illegal “Resident”

Read how this religious artifact made her way:

Parrot Lady sculpture

In accordance with 1970 UNESCO Convention (on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property) Canada has returned the Parrot Lady to her homeland, India.

The sculpture dates back 900 years and is from the Khajuraho temples, a UNESCO Heritage Site.

The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its apogee between 950 and 1050. Only about 20 temples remain; they fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture. The Temple of Kandariya is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.

The person(s) in possession of the 900 year old sculpture lacked the proper documentation for its presence in Canada. Therefore Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper handed her over to Indian PM Narendra Modi in Ottawa earlier this year.

The valuable antique piece surfaced in Canada in 2011 when it was found in possession of a person who did not have proper documents and it was seized, according to reports.

The 3 foot tall sculpture is affectionately known as the ‘Parrot Lady’ the female dancer appears to have a parrot on her back. Many similar carvings adorned the temples.

Although it is assumed the sculpture entered the country illegally, there has not been any formal theft complaint charged at this point.

The elegant dancer as of this writing is in New Delhi in the Central Antiquity Collection at Purana Qila. It has been reported that she may be transferred back home, to take up residence at the ASI Museum at Khajuraho.


Our thanks to Press Trust of India for the original article

Photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Candian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Source: @MEAIndia on Twitter)

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