Pakistan wants India to return 4,500-year-old Dancing Girl



Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Pakistan wants to "get back from India" a bronze Mohenjo-daro statuette called ‘Dancing Girl’, a 4500-year-old artifact, presently housed in the famed National Museum here. Waxing eloquent about its beauty, British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler had declared: "There’s nothing like her, I think, in the world."

The 10.5-centimetre or 4.1 inch-high statuette, dating around 2500 BC, was discovered in 1926 from the ancient city Mohenjo-daro of the Indus Valley Civilisation in Sindh, by British archaeologist Ernest Mackay.

Syed Jamal Shah, Director General of Pakistan National Council of the Arts, is quoted by the Daily Times today as saying the statue will be demanded under UNESCO conventions. He said that this is the first time that a request will be made about this to the Indian Government and that "the purpose of seeking the return of ‘Dancing Girl’ "is to protect the heritage", Pakistani news channel Dunyanews reported.

According to the website of the National Museum here, "The statue, recovered in excavation from ‘HR area’ of Mohenjo-Daro, is suggestive of two major breaks-through, one, that the Indus artists knew metal blending and casting and perhaps other technical aspects of metallurgy, and two, that a well developed society Indus people had innovated dance and other performing arts as modes of entertainment."

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," the website adds.

Talking about the girl’s statuette, Britain’s Mortimer Wheeler had said: "She’s about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There’s nothing like her, I think, in the world."

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