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SHC seeks comments on petition for retrieval of ‘dancing girl’

MISSING ARTeFACT CASE

By Staff Reporter

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) yesterday sought comments from Federal Secretary Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage; Provincial Secretary of Culture & Heritage department and others on a petition seeking retrieval of bronze statuette commonly known as ‘Dancing Girl of Moen jo Daro’ from India. Advocate Abdul Wahab Baloch and Moula Bux Khattian submitted in a petition that the world’s famous bronze statuette was found from Mohenjo Daro in 1926 along with another fascinating artifact known as ‘King Priest’. They added that the British archeologist, Sir Mortimer Wheeler took both the artifacts to India in 1946 before the separation for their display at exhibitions. The King Priest was brought back by the Pakistani authorities; however, Dancing Girl was still kept at India’s National Museum of New Delhi. “The artifact was more than 4500 years old and integral part of the heritage of the people of Sindh and Indus Valley Civilization. The figurine wearing bangles around her arms resembles the women of Thar desert,” the petitioners added. They informed the bench that that they had learnt two years back that Sindh government was sending a request to India for its return but till today no practical step was taken. “Earlier, the federal government had brought 13 artifacts belonging to Gandhara Civilization from several countries in 2009 and it could also bring back the Dancing Girl of the Moen Jo Daro.” Advocate Abdul Wahab Baloch and Moula Bux Khattian maintained. The petitioners requested the court to direct the federal and provincial governments to make efforts for bringing famous statue back in the country. The court was further requested to declare that the artifact was property of Sindh and represent its culture and heritage. The SHC bench, headed by Justice Irfan Saddat Khan, issued notices to the respondents, directing them to file their respective replies in this regard by December 07.

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