A Canadian university will soon return to India a unique statue of Hindu goddess Annapoorna that was stolen
from a shrine in Varanasi over a century ago and found its way to the varsity’s art gallery, in an attempt to ”right historical wrongs” and help overcome the ”damaging legacy of colonialism”. The statue is part of the University of Regina’s collection at the MacKenzie Art Gallery. The statue was part of the original 1936 bequest by Norman MacKenzie, the gallery’s namesake.
Artist Divya Mehra brought attention to the fact that the statue had been wrongfully taken over a century ago while going through MacKenzie’s permanent collection and preparing for her exhibition, the university said in a statement on Thursday. The statue will soon begin its journey home following a virtual repatriation ceremony held on November 19. University’s Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr Thomas Chase virtually met with High Commissioner of India to Canada Ajay Bisaria to officially repatriate the statue, it said.