Nepal seeks repatriation of 15th century Buddha statue stolen by Chinese smugglers

Published On: May 20, 2024 05:46 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 20: The stolen statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, taken from Gakar Monastery in Dolpa, Karnali Province, has reportedly surfaced in the possession of the National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA) of China.

According to sources within the Department of Archeology in Kathmandu, Chinese smugglers transported the statue to the China Guardian International Auction (CGIA) in Beijing before it ended up in the hands of the NCHA through Chinese authorities.

Despite efforts by the Nepali Embassy in Beijing to negotiate its return, there has been no response from the Chinese government.

The statue, originally from Gakar Gumba in Dolpa and dating to the 15th century, was taken from the home of the monastery's leader on May 25, 2016. Its return after seven years has prompted urgent requests from Nepali authorities for its return. 

The statue's importance to Nepal's cultural heritage is profound, transcending its physical worth. For Nepali Buddhists, it represents Lord Buddha's ultimate enlightenment, Mahaparinirvana. 


Leave A Comment