Twenty three years after being lost, Nil Barahi statue found in Singapore museum

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The 756 Samvat (1636 CE) gold-copper statue of Aghoreswora (Nil Barahi), stolen in 1999, was located in the collection of Asian Civilizations Museum, according to Lost Arts of Nepal. The statue was lost 23 years ago from Pharping, and now has been found in a prestigious museum in Singapore.

The statue of great archeological importance was lost from Pharping on June 16, 1999. According to “Lost Arts of Nepal,” an organized effort to search and locate Nepal’s lost or stolen heritage, the 756 Samvat (1636 CE) image of Aghoreswora (Nil Barahi) has been located in the collection of Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore.

The statue had been traditionally used on the day of Hari-Shankar Jatra, where seven idols of Gods like Nil Barahi would be taken across the Pharping area. In the absence of four of the original statues, their duplicate replicas are being used in the current day.

There have been many cases of lost arts of Nepal being rediscovered or brought back to their original homes. Just recently, the Yale University Art Gallery in Connecticut, USA had returned a ninth-century stone statue of Tara/Parvati to Nepal.

Similarly, the ancient statue of ‘Uma Maheshwara’ from the 10th century was handed over to the Nepal Embassy by the Colorado-based Denver Art Museum. Also, the sculpture of ‘Chaturmukh Shivlinga’, ‘Nagaraja’, ‘Padmanpani’, and ‘Shakyamuni Buddha’ was handed over to the Embassy by a private collector on different dates.