Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman handed over a antique Bronze Idol of Buddha to Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (IC) Prahlad Singh Patel today in New Delhi. This Buddha statue is documented as "Seated Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra'' Ht. 6.5" Circa 12th Century AD.
The Bronze Idol of 'Buddha seated in the Bhumisparsha Mudra' was stolen on 22nd August, 1961 from Nalanda Museum of ASI and had resurfaced at an auction in Masstricht (organized by a London based dealer Rossi & Rossi in Feb 2018). After receiving this information, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officer in London contacted the Art & Antique Unit of Metropolitan Police. ASI also certified that the statue was stolen from Archaeological Museum, Nalanda.
Scotland Yard handed over the statue to the Indian High Commissioner to UK, Shri YK Sinha on 15th August 2018to mark India's Independence Day.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman & the Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel both expressed their happiness at the return of the idol.