Hindus have asked the major international art institutions to re-examine the procurement of their Hindu art acquisitions and return these to Hindu temples where these belonged in case these were proved to be stolen.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that devotees had been worshipping these images of Hindu deities for centuries and the world should respect their feelings by returning these to their original homes before these were stolen for mercantile greed.
There were recent media reports about alleged international trafficking of Hindu antiquities linking major international art institutions.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that museums and galleries world over should undertake thorough examination of their Hindu art acquisitions and the related documentation, and if determined that some of those were among the stolen works, make arrangements to respectfully return to the religious institutions these rightfully belonged to.
The panels conducting these examinations should include internal and external art specialists. He or other Hindu scholars would gladly assist if needed, Rajan Zed pointed out.
Art institutions should follow a strict due diligence process when acquiring new works of Hindu art in the future, including determining provenance, and adhering to the principles of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import and Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, Zed added.