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Stolen statue of Hindu goddess to be returned to India from Canada

The statue was officially repatriated by the University’s Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr Thomas Chase virtually in a meeting with High Commissioner of India to Canada Ajay Bisaria on November 19.

Stolen statue of Hindu goddess to be returned to India from Canada
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After the UK returned four antique idols this year, a stone statue of Hindu goddess Annapoorna that had allegedly stolen over a century ago and transported to Canada will be back in its country, India.

The statue is believed to be originally from Varanasi and was part of the University of Regina’s collection at MacKenzie Art Gallery. The statue was part of the original 1936 bequest by Norman MacKenzie, the gallery’s namesake. It was officially repatriated by the University’s Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr Thomas Chase virtually in a meeting with High Commissioner of India to Canada, Ajay Bisaria, on November 19.

The statue will soon begin its journey home following a virtual repatriation ceremony, which was held on Friday. Representatives from the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Global Affairs Canada, and Canada Border Services Agency also attended the ceremony.

“We are delighted that this unique statue of Annapoorna is on her way home. I am grateful to the University of Regina for their proactive engagement for the return of this cultural icon to India,” Bisaria said in a statement released by the university. “The move to voluntarily repatriate such cultural treasures shows the maturity and depth of India-Canada relations,” he added.

According to reports, Artist Divya Mehra brought attention to the fact that the statue had been wrongfully taken over a century ago while going through MacKenzie’s permanent collection and preparing for her exhibition, which began in August this year.

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