Asia Society Returns Chola Sculpture to India
NEW YORK; October 28, 2021 – Thanks to an active and collaborative partnership between the Asia Society and the Indian Consulate General in New York a 12th-century Chola bronze sculpture of Shiva Nataraja that entered the Society’s permanent collection in 1979 has been returned to India. Through research conducted by the Asia Society and other parties over the course of the last two years, it was determined that the sculpture had in all likelihood been removed from India through improper means.
The sculpture will return to India via the Indian Consulate General’s office. "We thank the Asia Society for their collaboration on the return of antiquities to India,” said Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India. “We appreciate their respect for and sensitivity towards rightful preservation of cultural heritage. We look forward to working closely with the Society to further our engagement with the world at large."
The Asia Society condemns the illegal trade in cultural patrimony and the looting of archaeological or historic sites. The institution has partnered with international organizations including UNESCO and IFAR on ways to prevent looting and to help educate the public about the illegal art trade. The Asia Society places the highest priority on proactively and professionally researching the provenance of our collection and takes very seriously new provenance information that comes to light. As an additional sign of the Asia Society’s commitment, the organization has hired a new full-time provenance researcher who is helping accelerate the building of the ownership history of the pre-modern works of art held by the Asia Society.