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Nepal Calls for Return of Stolen Statues
Posted on 2015/5/22 4:11:33 ( 252 reads )

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NEPAL, May 20, 2015 (France 24): The massive earthquakes that recently hit Nepal caused the loss of thousands of lives, but they also destroyed numerous temples. In a strange twist of fate, some holy statues survived the two quakes and their aftershocks... because they were stolen and smuggled abroad several decades ago. Nepalese people are now calling for their immediate return. UNESCO reported that the earthquake had taken a "catastrophic" toll on cultural heritage sites in Nepal: 90% of seven World Heritage sites in Kathmandu Valley were destroyed, including most of their statues. However, some of these temples' original statues were not damaged, because they are no longer in Nepal. More than 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues have disappeared from Nepali temples, fountains and sanctuaries since the country first opened its borders to tourists in 1951.

Between 1960 and the early 1990s, numerous statues were stolen and then sold to private foreign collectors. Others ended up in museums in the United States or Europe. The project "Remembering the Lost" has tracked down about 160 statues that were stolen from Nepal. According to the project's founders, the total number of missing relics - including statues and other religious items - is probably close to 1,000. In Nepal, these religious objects are integral to the spiritual life of the community. Statues are seen as incarnations of divinities and each has a specific task

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Li's Participation in Yoga Meet to Help Its Spread in China
Posted on 2015/5/22 4:11:28 ( 210 reads )

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BEIJING, CHINA, May 19, 2015 (Business Standard): Participation of Premier Li Keqiang in the high profile yoga-tai chi event along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here recently and the permission to set up the first India-assisted yoga college in China is seen as an official sanction for its spread in the communist nation. Li's participation in the colorful yoga-tai chi meeting last week involving 400 Chinese and Indian students along with Modi provides "official seal" to permit practice of yoga in a big way, Indian officials said.

Yoga has become immensely popular in China especially among the educated middle classes who see it as more of a physical exercise. However, this is the first time that a high powered official attended a yoga event sending an official signal to the provinces to encourage it. An MOU to set up a yoga college along with Indian teachers in Yunnan University was signed during Modi's visit which for the first time bring will bring new standards to thousands of yoga teachers and institutions mushrooming all over China.

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Elephant Owners Association Decry Move to Stop Festivals
Posted on 2015/5/22 4:11:22 ( 202 reads )

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INDIA, May 21, 2015 (The Hindu): A special convention of Elephant Owners Association held here on Monday called upon people to protect festivals and cultural heritage of the state. "The people with vested interests have misled the court that elephant owners were misusing elephants for making money. We should try to convince Union ministers about the importance of festivals, including Thrissur Pooram, in Kerala tradition," said T.A. Sundar Menon, President of Elephant Owners Co-operative Sangam..

Cochin Devaswom Board former President Adv. M.A.A Krishnanunny said that the controversy over using elephants for festivals was an ongoing problem. "We should be able to convince the Supreme Court about the facts about festivals and elephant parades," he said. Meeting called up on temple managements to pass resolution against move to ban elephant parades. Elephant Federation has also given instruction to mahouts that the elephants should not be harassed in any way.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/5/22 4:11:17 ( 208 reads )

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You shine, all living things emerge. You disappear, they go to rest. Recognizing our innocence, O golden-haired Sun, arise; let each day be better than the last.
-- Rig Veda (X, 37, 9)

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Ancient Statue Of Hindu God Hanuman Returned To Cambodia
Posted on 2015/5/21 2:24:56 ( 406 reads )

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PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, MAY 17, 2015 (By Sopheng Cheang, The Associated Press): Cambodia welcomed home a 10th century stone statue of a Hindu God that was looted from a temple during the country's civil war and spent the past three decades at an American museum. The sculpture of Hanuman was formally handed over Tuesday at a ceremony in Phnom Penh attended by government officials and the director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, which acquired the sculpture in 1982.

The statue was stolen from the Prasat Chen Temple in the Koh Ker temple complex in Siem Reap province, which is also home to the famed Angkor Wat temples, said Sok An, adding that it was shipped to Europe and then the U.S. Officials at the Cleveland museum found last year that the statue's head and body were sold separately in 1968 and 1972 during the Vietnam War and the Cambodian civil war. An excavation showed the sculpture's base matched a pedestal at the ancient temple.

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