Hindus are urging all museums and art galleries of the United Kingdom (UK) to undertake thorough provenance research of Hindu artefacts, and if proved stolen, return these to Hindu temples they originally belonged to.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that UK museums and art galleries should make sure that their commitments to ethical standards were fully met and publish a definite timeline for completing the provenance investigations.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged all museums and art galleries of UK (including British Museum, Victoria and Albert, Tate group, Kelvingrove, Ashmolean, etc.) that when acquiring new Hindu artifacts in the future, ensure that these were not looted from Hindu religious centers, should follow strict due diligence procedures, and have transparent provenance. Pillaging of Hindu temples and archeological sites for mercantile greed was not okay, Zed indicated.
The United Kingdom Government Department of Culture and its Secretary Nadine Dorries should take this issue of provenance research at museums and art galleries very seriously; Rajan Zed emphasized.
Zed further said that devotees had been worshipping these images of Hindu deities for centuries and, if confirmed as stolen, the UK should respect their feelings by making arrangements to respectfully return to the religious institutions these plundered antiquities rightfully belonged to before being stolen. He or other Hindu scholars would gladly assist if needed, Zed pointed out.
Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.