Tibet to return Nepal's ancient stolen statues | world | Hindustan Times
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Tibet to return Nepal's ancient stolen statues

world Updated: Jun 18, 2007 12:58 IST

Tibet will return ancient Buddhist statues stolen from a centuries-old monastery in Nepal two years ago, a Nepali official says on Monday.

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

A court in Tibet ordered recently that the artefacts must be returned to their original homes.

"They are 600 to 700 years-old idols," Prakash Darnal, a senior government archaeologist, said.

"We have already sent an official team to Lhasa to bring them to Nepal and they will be restored to their original place in the monastery in Dolpa."

Eleven percent of majority-Hindu Nepal's 26 million people are Buddhists and the Himalayan nation has hundreds of ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries.