NEW YORK, USA - The Rubin Museum of Art in New York has declared that two relics from its collection will be returned to Nepal after they were discovered to have been smuggled from two religious sites in Kathmandu Valley.
On Monday, Bishnu Prasad Gautam, Nepal's acting consul general in New York, and Jorrit Britschgi, the Rubin Museum executive director, signed a memorandum of agreement.
"Lost Arts of Nepal," a group dedicated to identifying and discovering lost Nepalese artifacts strewn around the world, said in September that it had found the two relics-a 14th-century Flying Gandharva and the upper half of a 17th-century Torana-in The Rubin Museum of Art.
The Nepal Heritage Recovery Campaign requested that the artifacts be returned to Nepal. The Department of Archeology then offered information to help determine the ownership and origin of the artworks.
According to the New York Times, the Museum said in a statement that these two antiquities were the first in its collection to be discovered to have been obtained illegally.
The Torana was stolen from the main door of Yampi Mahavihara/I-Bahi in Patan, Lalitpur, and arrived at the Museum in Newyork in 2010. The Flying Gandharva was stolen in 1999 from Keshchandra Mahavihara in Itum Bahal, Kathmandu, and was added to the Museum's collection in 2003.