Repatriated To Pakistan: Islamic Republic Thanks Australian Family For Return Of 2000-Year-Old Gandhara Buddha Statue
Repatriated To Pakistan: Islamic Republic Thanks Australian Family For Return Of 2000-Year-Old Gandhara Buddha StatueThe Buddha of Swat that was defaced by the Pakistan Taliban was recently restored (representative image) (GettyImages)

An Australian family that had a 2000-year-old Buddha statue in as a possession for over five decades has returned it to the government of Pakistan.

Romy Dingle, who has returned the artefact, go it through his father who served as a diplomat for Australia in Islamabad. He once went on a road trip with his wife who picked up the statue at a roadside stall, and that is how it ended up in Canberra.

Dingle has returned the statue to Pakistani High Commission along with two other objects. Babar Amin, the Pakistani High Commissioner, thanked the donor and called it a “very precious piece”.

The statue dates back 1,900 years ago and from the northern region of Pakistan known as Gandhara. The place was an important part of the Silk Road that connected China to Europe.

During the 1970s in Pakistan, when the object was carried to Australia, paperwork wasn’t very difficult to obtain. In some cases, not needed at all.

Romy Dingle said that she hadn't actually worshipped the Buddha in her home but she has been affected by "his peace". The Sydney Morning Herald quoted her as saying, “I think he (Buddha) is very much about love and about holding on to the places that can be neglected in this frantic world. That's what he came to be for me.”

Since the National Museum of Australia could not identify the past of the statue, the government of Pakistan was roped in.

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