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2 stolen ancient idols returned to Nepal

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KATHMANDU — Two ancient idols, which were stolen from Nepal during the 1980s and were kept on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, were finally returned to Nepal after 30 years, the Department of Archeology (DoA) said on Wednesday.

Madhu Marasini, Nepal’s consul general in New York, handed over the stolen idols of Uma Maheshwor and Buddha to the official of DoA in Kathmandu amid a function.

“We are thankful to the museum board for deciding to send us back our valuable idols,” he said.

Chief archeologist of the DoA Shyam Sundar Rajbansi informed that the idols arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday morning and were subsequently handed over to the department.

After the idols were handed over to the department, the authorities sent those idols to the National Museum in Chauni for display.

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The idols of Lord Buddha of Yatkatol Temple and Uma Maheshwar of Tangalhiti, Patan are presumed to be of 11th and 12th centuries respectively.

Earlier on March 5, the government had signed an agreement with the museum for the handover of the idols that rightfully belong to Nepal. The museum authority was supportive throughout the handover process, Marasini said.

According to the US museum, the Uma Maheshwar statue was gifted by a donor in 1986 and since then it has been exhibited at the museum whereas the statue of Buddha was gifted in 2015.

The museum not only removed the idols from display but also agreed to return them to Nepal, after the Nepali authorities informed the museum administration that both the statues were stolen, giving reference to the book ‘Stolen Images of Nepal’ written by Lain Singh Bangdel in 1989 AD.

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Constitution Day today

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KATHMANDU — The Constitution Day is being observed throughout the country by organising various programs on Wednesday.

The government has organised a special function at the Nepal Army pavilion to mark the third anniversary of the Constitution, promulgated by an elected body after six decades of political struggle.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari,Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Chief Justice, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the National Assembly, deputy prime ministers, ministers, high-ranking government officials, security chiefs, heads of diplomatic missions based in Kathmandu, among others, are attending the function.

The government had formed a main organising committee chaired by Prime Minister Oli to celebrate the event.

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An aerial display of a banner reading ‘Constitution Day-2075’, balloons, and flowers were showered from helicopter as parts of the celebration.

Similarly, Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and Nepal Scouts are set to perform march past.

Meanwhile, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli have extended best wishes to fellow citizens on the occasion of Constitution Day and National Day 2075.

In her message, President Bhandari said it was a matter of happiness for all to have an environment conducive to prosper democratic political system of Nepal through constitutional roadmap.

She said that the Constitution has envisaged creating an equitable society based on social justice with a goal to develop a socialism-oriented economy.

“I think it is the timely need for all the actors including people-representative institutions, political parties, state organs and entire Nepali people to embrace the letter and spirit of the Constitution to expedite socio-economic development”.

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Likewise, Prime Minister Oli expressed deep tribute to the martyrs who laid down their lives and also owed heartfelt gratitude to entire people of the country for their substantial contributions to bound the country to rule of law.

He said that the consitution, which was framed through the Constituent Assembly after a seven-decade long wait not only fulfilled people’s aspiration and optimism but also included principles and values.

Prime Minister Oli has also said that the Constitution has guaranteed fundamental rights and freedom to all citizens without any discrimination.

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