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  India   All India  24 Jun 2017  ‘Parrot Lady’ finally returns home

‘Parrot Lady’ finally returns home

Published : Jun 24, 2017, 4:05 am IST
Updated : Jun 24, 2017, 4:05 am IST

900-year-old stolen sculpture shifted from Delhi to Khajuraho temple.

A file picture of Khajuraho temple.
 A file picture of Khajuraho temple.

Bhopal: The 900-year-old sculpture, “Parrot Lady”, journey of which from Khajuraho temple — synonymous with erotic art — in Madhya Pradesh to Canada is still shrouded in mystery, has finally been restored to its original abode.

The exquisitely-carved sandstone sculpture depicting a scantily-clad woman immersed in conversation with her pet parrot, has recently been shifted from Delhi to Khajuraho temple, from where it was trafficked to Canada allegedly by antique smugglers, by the ASI. The transportation of the four-ft-long artefact has been done “secretly” for security purpose, a senior officer in Bhopal circle of ASI told this newspaper here on Friday.

“We have taken custody of ‘Parrot Lady’. It has been kept in a sealed chamber in our museum,” K.K. Verma, museum in-charge of Khajuraho temples, disclosed to this newspaper. The art piece would be displayed in the theme-based galleries, being built in the premises of Khajuraho group of monuments, currently, he added.

The ASI has proposed to build six such galleries in the premises of Khajurao temples, declared world heritage site in 1986.

The stolen ‘Parrot Lady’The stolen ‘Parrot Lady’

“The ‘Parrot Lady’ has generated huge interest and curiosity among art lovers ever since it was handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by his then Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper, at an official function in Ottawa in 2015. We have been flooded with inquiries as to when it would be on display for public,” an ASI officer here said.

It has still remained a mystery as to when and how the art piece, portrayed in local folk tales as “Queen of Khajurao”, had made way to Delhi from Khajuraho before landing in Toronto, Canada.

“We have information on trafficking of the artefact from Delhi to Toronto, where it was seized by an official Canadian agency from a private art collector. But, we are still in the dark about how the antiquity was trafficked from Khajuraho to Delhi,” a senior ASI officer said.

It was found in “illegal” possession of 60-year-old Canadian art collector Patrician Burns, sold to her by an American at $3,818.59.

Tags: parrot lady, asi, khajuraho temple
Location: India, Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal