Priceless Buddha statue damaged

by Sirimantha Ratnasekera

A priceless bronze Buddha statue belonging to the Anurdhapura era, taken to Temple Trees from the National Museum, had suffered damage due to carless handling, sources said yesterday.

The siras patha (circle of light) of the ancient seated Buddha statue, unearthed from the Veheragala archaeological site, had been broken due to a fall, sources said.

Some officials took the statue, belonging to the 9th Century AD) to Temple Trees, where it was displayed with Buddha relics brought from Pakistan on Saturday.

Prime Minister's Office had requested the museum authorities to release a Buddha statue of archaeological value to be displayed along with Buddha relics brought from the Taxila Museum of Pakistan in view of Vesak Festival, sources said.

The statue had fallen while a worker was trying to rearrange the pedestal it was placed on, sources said, noting that an official of the national museum had been present at that time.

Museum authorities had taken swift action to take the damaged statue back to the museum, sources said.

Director of the National Museum Thanuja Kasturiarachchi, contacted for comment, told The Island last night that action had been taken to repair the statue.



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