National Gallery of Australia agrees to return dancing Shiva

30 Apr 2014 7:19 AM | Anonymous
National Gallery of Australia agrees to return dancing Shiva
The museum has surrendered the work to the federal government

The NGA bought the sculpture in 2008 for $5m from the controversial New York antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor. Photo: Ray Strange/News Corp Australia

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Sydney has acceded to India’s formal request for the return of a bronze statue of Shiva. The Australian newspaper reports that the 11th- to 12th-century Chola-dynasty deity had been turned over to federal custody under Australia’s Movable Cultural Heritage Act.

The Shiva had been removed from view at the NGA on 27 March after India sought its restitution, alleging it had been looted. Earlier that week, the Australian arts minister and attorney-general George Brandis had appeared on the ABC television programme Four Corners, which investigated the dancing Shiva’s origins, and called into question the NGA’s efforts to trace the object’s provenance.
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