Oxford University to Return Looted Hindu Sculpture to India

Oxford University is set to return a 500-year-old sculpture of Hindu saint Tirumankai Alvar to its home country, India. The Indian High Commission raised a claim for the sculpture, believing it was looted from an Indian temple. The bronze statue, which stands 60 cm tall, has been on display at Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum. The University of Oxford’s council supported the claim, following the coronation of King Charles in May 2023 where Queen Consort Camilla sported Queen Mary’s crown without the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond. The governments of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have also claimed ownership of the diamond, but the British government has insisted that it was legally obtained under the terms of the Last Treaty of Lahore. The Archaeological Survey of India, however, claims that the diamond was surrendered to the British and not stolen or forcibly taken away.

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