900-year-old Parrot Lady to return to Khajuraho by end of September
A 900-year-old sandstone sculpture of a woman holding a parrot will find its way back to Khajuraho, a town in Madhya Pradesh famous for its temples associated with erotic art, after almost two years Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper handed it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We got the green signal from the highest authority to display Parrot Lady here,” Kamal Kant Verma, assistant superintendent archaeologist of ASI’s Museum in Khajuraho told Hindustan Times.
Verma added that the transportation of the 12th-century idol will take place by the third week of September.
The three-foot-high statue of Parrot Lady was found in 2011 in the possession of a 60-year-old Canadian woman Patricia Burns without proper documentation. She reportedly bought the sculpture from an American on eBay for just $3,818.59.
The prized sculpture was returned to PM Modi by his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper at the Library of Parliament in Ottawa in April 2015.
The Parrot lady’s journey from Khajuraho to Canada is still unknown. “We don’t have the details of its theft in our records,” Verma said.
The voluptuous, scantily clad stone sculpture was said to be created to adorn the Khajuraho temples. According to Verma, the idol may be from any of the temples in Khajuraho.
“It is difficult to say where exactly the sculpture originally belonged,” the ASI official said.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, there were originally a group of Hindu and Jain 85 temples in Khajuraho spread over an area of 20 square km. However, only 20 temples survived and are now occupy over 6 sq km.
Officials said the Parrot Lady, after being shifted to Khajuraho, will be displayed in the General Section in the ASI’s new museum complex.
“It (Parrot Lady) is going to be a major attraction,” Verma said.