Stone idol

Yogini Gomukhi, one of two 8th century stone idols from a temple in Lokhari, India that have been recovered.

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The statues, Yogini Camunda and Yogini Gomukhi, were taken from a temple in Lokhari, India between 1979 and 1982.

They recently re-emerged in March 2023 when a salvage company in the UK purchased the two sculptures from a woman who had kept them in a garden shed. 

Following work by Christopher Marinello’s Art Recovery International the artworks will be returned. He said: “The idols came to light during the due diligence process thanks to one of the brilliant art historians working in cooperation with Art Recovery International.”

Stone idol

Yogini Camunda, one of two 8th century stone idols from a temple in Lokhari, India that have been recovered.

In 2021 Art Recovery International recovered another sculpture from the same temple – a goat-headed deity that was also in a garden in the UK.

Marinello works with the India Pride Project, an initiative run by S Vijay Kumar which is dedicated to restoring India’s cultural heritage.

S Vijay Kumar said: "This is another shining example of how civil society, recovery organisations, and innocent good faith possessors can correct historic wrongs by voluntarily giving up stolen objects to the rightful owners without fearing adverse actions.”

“We thank the director of antiquities, the Archaeological Survey of India, the Metropolitan Police and the High Commission of India in London for their prompt and proactive action."

A formal repatriation of the two idols to the High Commission of India in London is due to take place in August to correspond with India Independence Day.

Lokhari is a small village in Utter Pradesh, India. Yoginis represent a group of female divinities, associated with the Tantric mode of worship.