Stolen Loot in British Museum

Any artifacts out in the UK that should be returned.

Gilded bronze statue of the Tara Bodhisattva, from the Anuradhapura period (8th century).

The Bodhisattva Tara. Gilded bronze, Sri Lanka, 8th century CE. With her right hand, the bodhisattva makes varadamudra, the gesture of charity or gift-giving, while her left hand may originally have held a lotus. The image is solid cast and would once have had semi-precious stone or crystal inlaid eyes. The niche in the head-dress would have contained a figure of a Dhyani Buddha. This sculpture was found on the east coast of Sri Lanka between Batticaloa and Trincomalee and is evidence of the presence of Mahayana Buddhism in the Anuradhapura period of Sri Lanka. These doctrines are generally more associated with the north of India. Given by Sir Robert Brownrigg.

I like the word “Given”.  Robert Brownrigg, was Governor of Ceylon who finally captured the Kandyan Kingdom

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I am 3/4ths Sri Lankan (Jaffna) Tamil, 1/8th Sinhalese and 1/8th Irish; a proper mutt. Maternal: Grandfather a Govt Surveyor married my grandmother of Sinhalese/Irish descent from the deep south, in the early 1900’s. They lived in the deep South, are generally considered Sinhalese and look Eurasian (common among upper class Sinhalese). They were Anglicans (Church of England), became Evangelical Christians (AOG) in 1940's, and built the first Evangelical church in the South. Paternal: Sri Lanka (Jaffna Tamil). Paternal ancestors converted to Catholicism during Portuguese rule (1500's), went back to being Hindu and then became Methodists (and Anglicans) around 1850 (ggfather). They were Administrators and translators to the British, poets and writers in Tamil and English. Grandfathers sister was the first female Tamil novelist of modern times I was brought up as an Evangelical even attending Bible study till about the age of 13. Agnostic and later atheist. I studied in Sinhala, did a Bachelor in Chemistry and Physics in Sri Lanka. Then did Oceanography graduate stuff and research in the US. I am about 60 years old, no kids, widower. Sri Lankan citizen (no dual) and been back in SL since 2012. Live in small village near a National Park, run a very small budget guest house and try to do some agriculture that can survive the Elephants, monkeys and wild boar incursions. I am not really anonymous, a little digging and you can find my identity.

25 thoughts on “Stolen Loot in British Museum”

  1. Along the same lines, India should give Pakistan back the Dancing Girl of Moenjodaro, which somehow ended up in the Delhi Museum. She needs to come home.

      1. It’s from the Indus Valley period, so whatever ethnicity the IVC people were.

        1. I think IVC people were mughals from firghana and obviously muslim. There were mosques on IVC sites like Rakhigarhi and Dholavira in India too but somehow hindutwits converted them to temples…

          Dancing girl idol was a depiction of haram ( ). It should be returned to Pakistan where it can be safely destroyed.

          1. Haha. There was no Islam until the 7th century AD. The dancing girl of Moenjodaro is part of Pakistan’s heritage and should be returned home.

            There is actually a second dancing girl statue in the Karachi museum but the better one is in Delhi.

          2. @Kabir

            Astaghfirullah! Pakistan ki dokhtar (haramkhor raqqasa ka but hi sahi lekin) kisi kafir kay museum ki zeenat banay yeh zeb nahin deta. Aapka hukm sar-aankhon per huzur-e wala .. kahayn to kal dilli fateh kar, pahuncha detay hain aapki amanat ba-izzat Pakistan? Bakhuda hamaray mard-e mumin Pak fauji lagay haath 5-10 man dasahri aam bhi uTha layengay. Nosh farmaiyega?

          3. First, your Urdu is really bad. Please don’t try again. You are butchering a beautiful language.

            Second, I believe Pakistan has diplomatically asked India for our statue back. It was the British who had placed the statue in the Delhi museum. This was prior to independence. Now that Pakistan exists, our heritage belongs in our country.

        2. @Kabir

          Wallah! dukhti rag pay haath rakh diya miyan aapnay. Urdu mein haath bachpan say tang hai hamara, kyunki ustad ek pak punjabi tha. Usay jitni malumat thi, utni sikha paya kambakht. Vaisay nalayak kuch hi roz pehlay balochistan mein dozakh-naseeb hua…Allah ki laThi mein awaz nahin vaqai!

          Lekin mayra muft offer na bhuliyayga huzur. Bakhuda dilli pay chaRahi kar aayengay andaz-i nadir shahi mein … sirf aapkay liyay 🙂

          1. My grandmother was from Agra. I know what good Urdu is and this is definitely not it.

            Stick to English next time.

          2. @Kabir

            Aap to miyan angrezi mein hi naseehaton kay pul bandhtay ja rahayn hain…
            Ghuroor-e Urdu itna sar chaRha hai aapkay to zara ham say bhi ham-kalaam hoiyay is zaban mein. Goya ham nacheez hin sahi, par aap jaisay agra-nejad danaa-e urdu say shayad kucch seekh layn is bahanay?

            Chalo khair .. kabhi Windsor ki aor rukh ho to apnay khadim Jaggu ko yad zarur kijiyayga. dilli pay fatehyab hongay inshallah!

          3. Dude, you are trying too hard.

            Bohot hogaya hai. Khuda kay liye, maaf kijiye.

            I don’t have to prove my knowledge of Urdu to anyone. First off, I grew up in the United States and English is my native language. Second of all, I just gave a performance last week in which I sang the Ghazals of Faiz Sahab, not “easy Urdu” by any means.

            Satire ek had tak hota hai. Had say nahi guzrain.

      2. Ethnically dancing girl was an InPe brahmin courtesan in a Steppe/mughal lord’s court. The dude who sculpted her was an AASI drav.

        Melting pot and PCA…

  2. sbarrkum, I suspect that the South East Asians might be one of the original Arya tribes. The dancing girl could be one of them or a combination of Iranian Farmer + South East Asian.

    I am not a fan of “I am so hot because I am fair skinned” vanity.

  3. sbarrkum, Tara Bodhisattva statue looks angelic, pleasing, and is a work of art. I always thought Bodhisattva is Buddha’s rebirth or reincarnation from time to time. I was not familiar with female appearances. Could you please update me on this subject? Thanks in advance.

      1. Not just the east. Greece has not had much luck getting the Elgin Marbles back.

    1. Tara shows evidence of the cultural interaction of Buddhism with Hinduism. Tara had been a Hindu mother goddess but was redesigned for a new role within Buddhism.[2] Sri Lanka is today a Theravada Buddhist country, like many other countries in Southeast Asia.[3]

      At one time this statue was thought to be a model of the guardian deity Pattini, but it is now agreed that this statue is of Tara.[4] This identification is clear evidence for the presence in the medieval period of Mahayana Buddhism as well as the Theravada form of the faith which allows Buddhists to worship beings other than Buddha. The Abhayagiri vihāra of the Anuradhapura Kingdom being the most notable example. The statue suggests that Tara may have been worshiped as a deity and not just as the consort of a male god.[5] Typically the sculpture would have been placed in a temple alongside a statue of her male companion, the bodhisattva, Avalokiteshevara.[6] Bodhisattvas are beings who have reached enlightenment but have turned back from it, out of compassion so that they can still help mankind escape from the cycle of death, rebirth and suffering. [7]

      Tara’s right hand is shown in the gesture of giving while her left hand is thought to have held a lotus flower, now lost. The figure wears a high crown dominated by a medallion. The hole in the crown is supposed to have held a large precious stone.[4] The statue is the only known Anuradhapura example of this size that now survives.

      Tara (Sanskrit: तारा in Buddhism, is a female Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who appears as a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism. She is known as the “mother of liberation”, and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements.

      Tara’s creation as myths go is a an interesting fantasy. According to popular belief she came into existence from a tear of Avalokiteshvara, which fell to the ground and formed a lake. Out of its waters rose up a lotus which opened to reveal the goddess – a truly painless birth.

      She is the ” heavenly deity who hears cries of beings, experiencing misery in samsara; a world of continuous rebirth, death and suffering. As the female aspect of the universe, she gives birth to warmth compassion and relief from bad karma as experienced by ordinary beings in cyclic existence. She engenders, nourishes, smiles at the vitality of creation and has sympathy for all beings as a mother does for her children.

      From Bihar (9th Century) in the US

      Avalokiteśvara from Sri Lanka, 7th Century Birmingham Museum

        1. The supposed lotus in the other hand is taken by BJP as the election symbol. As the jingle says, you are in good hands. 🙂

  4. How is this story playing in Sri Lanka?

    “State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called his Sri Lankan girlfriend his “brown slave” and wanted her to refer to him as “Master,” the woman says.

    Harvard-educated activist writer Tanya Selvaratnam told the New Yorker magazine that her yearlong affair with Schneiderman “was a fairytale that became a nightmare” — and quickly escalated into violence in the bedroom, even as he begged for threesomes.

    “Sometimes, he’d tell me to call him Master, and he’d slap me until I did,” Selvaratnam said.

    “He started calling me his ‘brown slave’ and demanding that I repeat that I was ‘his property.’”

    1. Posted same on FB. Not much response.
      Probably, in Rome do as the Romans.

      Get much about SL women in Middle East, who have no choice.
      e.g Rizana Nafeek, who was below 18, working in Saudi and executed for a possible accidental death. Her execution was televised (at that time youtube clips, does not seem available now).

  5. Yes, he has resigned. The difference in sexual mores between South Asia and the West may be the reason for the lack of response on FB.

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