On Friday, 30 September 2016, High Commissioner of India, H.E. Navtej Sarna was formally handed over a 12th century sculpture of Brahma and his consort Brahmani at India House by the Art Loss Register (ALR).
The 12th century sculpture of Brahma and his consort Brahmani was stolen from the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Rani-ki-Vav in Patan, Gujarat in November 2001. The artefact was recovered by the London-based Art Loss Register, which specializes in recovery and return of lost and stolen art. The sculpture resurfaced in London in 2015 in an advertisement by an art dealer and was detected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the efforts of Dr. Kirit Mankodi, a retired Archaeologist who has been working on recovery of stolen Indian art for several years. The artefact was handed over to Art Loss Register after the ownerrealised that it was procured illicitly.
The statue was examined by a team of experts the Archaeological Survey of India and after several rounds of discussions and examination by an expert committee of the ASI, it has now been authenticated as the original statue. Both ALR and Dr. Mankodi also contributed to ASI’s analysis and examination of the sculpture.
The High Commissioner expressed his deep appreciation for the work done by the Art Loss Register in returning this stolen artefact back to India.