Tibet to return Nepal’s stolen Buddhist artifacts
Phayul[Monday, June 18, 2007 14:01]
Kathmandu, June 18: A three-member Nepalese government team had left for Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, on Sunday to bring back the idols and a stupa stolen from an ancient monastery in Nepal two years ago, according to media reports from Nepal.

Twenty-seven statues of the Buddha and a small shrine were reported stolen from the Yetser Jangchubling monastery in Nepal's remote Dolpa district in 2005. The artifacts were taken to Tibet where they were later recovered.

"They are 600 to 700 years-old idols," Prakash Darnal, a senior government archaeologist was quoted as saying.

A Lhasa court had recently ordered that the artifacts be returned to their original homes.

According to Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs, the court has also announced capital punishment for the people convicted in the theft, the country’s Himalayan Times reported.

Although Nepal is predominantly a Hindu country, eleven percent of its 26 million people are Buddhists. The Himalayan nation has hundreds of ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries, some being centuries-old.

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