Varanasi: Kashi will soon get back the antique stone idol of Goddess Annapoorna, which was robbed over a century ago from a Varanasi ghat and discovered its way to the University of Regina, Canada. Coincidentally by the beginning of the World Heritage Week, from November 19 to 25, is witnessing the expatriation of the statue from the Canadian university.
According to a university press statement, the idol of Annapoorna, the statue from the University of Regina’s exhibition at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, will soon start its journey home following a virtual repatriation ritual carried on November 19. The 18th century Idol of Annapoorna at University of Regina’s MacKenzie art gallery and golden idol of goddess enshrined in Annapoorna Mandir.
Artist Divya Mehra pulled awareness to the matter that the statue had been wrongfully carried over a century ago while going through MacKenzie’s enduring collection. The statue was part of the foremost 1936 bequest by Norman MacKenzie, the gallery’s namesake. Upon research, Mehra stumbled upon the fact that a stranger overheard MacKenzie talking about his wish to keep the idol during his trip to India in 1913, and stole the idol from a temple on the stone steps along the Ganga and gave it to the Canadian art patron.