London returns to India 10th-century ‘Yogini’ sculpture that disappeared from UP in 1980s

A 10th-century Indian sculpture has been returned to India after it was illegally removed from a temple in Uttar Pradesh and discovered in England on Friday around 40 years ago. Yogini, the goat-headed goddess, disappeared from Lokhari in the 1980s and reappeared in 1988 on the London art market.

According to reports from PTI, Chris Marinello of Art Recovery International, the organization which assisted in the repatriation of the idol, to the Indian High Commission in London returned the idol to the Indian High Commissioner to the UK. Kingdom, Gaitri Issar Kumar. The sculpture, which is part of a Yogini set from the Lokhari temple in the Banda region of Bundelkhand, will now be sent to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in New Delhi. Chris Marinello called Vijay Kumar, who is the co-founder of the India Pride Project, which aims to restore India’s lost artifacts, who was able to identify the sculpture.

The repatriation process was completed at record speed

During a handover ceremony at India House, Gaitri Issar Kumar said it was really auspicious to receive this Yogini on Makar Sankranti, according to PTI. Kumar also said that this will now be forwarded to ASI, who will likely send it to the National Museum.

Kumar recounted the coincidence of another ancient sculpture of a buffalo-headed Vrishanana Yogini who was unearthed and transferred to India during his diplomatic service in Paris, according to PTI. The Goat-Headed Yogini is most likely to end up in the National Museum in New Delhi. Yoginis are powerful female deities involved in tantric worship. They are worshiped in groups, usually in groups of 64, and are believed to have unlimited abilities.

The private garden where the sculpture was discovered

London’s First Trade and Economics Secretary at the Indian High Commission in London, Jaspreet Singh Sukhija, worked to repatriate the sculpture, acquire the required documents and ensure the woman’s anonymity elderly owner of the private garden where the sculpture was discovered. , according to PTI. Photos of the sculpture have been circulating on the internet announcing the news that the goat head sculpture has been returned to India.

(Inputs from PTI)

Image: @HCI_London/Twitter

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