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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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Dahal says discussion about party unification process positive

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KATHMANDU — CPN Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachand has said the bilateral discussions regarding the unification between the party and CPN-UML are heading positively.

Chair Dahal apprised the extended meeting held today at his Khumaltar-based private residence of the progress in the unification process.

Talking to media persons following the meeting, party Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said that time would be taken for uniting the parties.

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“The date for the unification cannot be declared right now,” she said while stressing the need to make no haste on the matter of making a new party by merging two political parties.

According to Spokesperson Bhusal, party chair Dahal briefed the meeting about his discussions with the UML chair regarding party unification committee’s reports.

Stating that bilateral talks and discussions on the political and organisational issues were heading positively, leader Dahal assured the meeting that merging process was going ahead to ensure the unification as per the interests of both parties and the nation, according to Spokesperson Bhusal.

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