A Pakistani lawyer has filed a petition to ask the government to bring back a 5,000-year-old bronze statue called ‘Dancing Girl’ from India. Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey on Monday filed the petition in the Lahore High Court for a suo motu action by the court.
The 10.5 centimetres high statue, dating around 2500 BC, was discovered in 1926 from the ancient city Mohenjodaro of the Indus Valley Civilisation in Sindh, Dawn reported. The petitioner claimed that the statue is the property of the Lahore Museum.
“It was taken to India around 60 years ago at the request of the National Arts Council, Delhi, and was never brought back,” the report said.
Jamal Shah, director general of the Pakistan National Museum of Arts, in a statement said that a letter would be written to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to bring the statue back.
“This is important if we want to protect our heritage,” Shah said.
Jaffrey says the statue has the same historic importance as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in Europe. He calls it a marker of Pakistan’s cultural heritage which needs to be protected. Some of the most famous archaeologists in the world have described it as one of the most captivating pieces of art from the Indus site.
The tiny bronze statue of a young woman is suggestive of two breakthrough – that Indus artists knew metal blending and casting and that the well developed Indus society had innovated dance and other performing arts, India’s National Museum said in its description of the Dancing Girl.