The Dancing Girl
The Dancing Girl

LAHORE: A writ petition filed in the Lahore High Court on Monday has requested that directions be issued to the federal government to bring back from India the ‘Dancing Girl’ bronze statue excavated from Moenjodaro in 1926.

Barrister Javed Iqbal Jaffrey, the petitioner, has asked the LHC to take suo motu notice in this regard. He claims 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.

Mr 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.

The statue is 10.5 centimetres tall and nearly 5,000 years old. 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.

In a recent statement, Jamal Shah, director general of the Pakistan National Museum of Arts, hinted that the government was considering writing to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to bring the statue back. “This is important if we want to protect our heritage.”

Published in Dawn October 11th, 2016