A Pakistani lawyer has filed a petition in the Lahore high court asking his government to bring back a 5,000-year-old bronze statue called ‘Dancing Girl’ from India.
Javed Iqbal Jaffrey on Monday called for a suo motu action by the court.
According to our National Museum’s website, the ‘Indus dancing girl’ represents a ‘stylistically poised female figure performing a dance’.
It was excavated from Mohenjo-Daro in 1926.
“The forward thrust of the left leg and backwards tilted right, the gesture of the hands, demeanour of the face and uplifted head, all speak of absorption in dance, perhaps one of those early styles that combined drama with dance, and dialogue with body-gestures. As was not unusual in the lifestyle of early days, the young lady has been cast as nude,” read a description in the website.
The tiny bronze statue which is 10.5 cm in height is suggestive of two breakthroughs - that Indus artists knew metal blending and casting and that the well developed Indus society had innovated dance and other performing arts.
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.
Petitioner Jaffrey 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,” a report in Dawn 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.