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Goddesses Returned

As much as we love seeing goddesses from around the world in museums in our hometown, there are many controversies regarding the proper ownership of statues. It is a political issue, as much as a cultural and historical issue. There are many ongoing conversations between governments involved in these negotiations. Some works of art can be traced directly to theft or times in history when treasures were seized from local inhabitants. Sometimes it is devoted local advocates who finally get statues home. Click on the headlines to access the stories.


More news items will be added to this page over time. Check at The Goddess and Public History Facebook page for more stories about goddesses returned to their culture of origin.



The Goddess Goes Home


One of the most famous goddess repatriation stories came after years of negotiations between the Getty and the Italian government.  The celebrated statue once identified as Aphrodite was returned to Italy.

Goddess Ngonnso Is to Be Return to Her Homeland by German Museum


The Nso people of northwest Cameroon fought for the return of their goddess, stating that the country and crops were suffering with her gone. Activists led the fight and had a social media page devoted to the goddess.

Dallas Museum of Art to Return Sacred Statue of Lakshmi to Nepal


A sacred stele of Lakshmi-Narayana was taken in 1984. It was removed from a local shrine and the people wanted it back. This statue and others over time were taken from the Kathmandu Valley and the Nepalese government sees it as a loss of a place of worship because these icons mean so much to local people.

Glasgow Museums to Return Seven Stolen Artefacts to India


Glasgow Museums will return a number of items to India, including this statue of a Goddess they are identifying as Uma or Durga. Uma is also another name for Parvati, who is the consort of Shiva.

The 'Return' of the 2,500-year-old Ballachulish Goddess


The National Museums of Scotland had this ancient Celtic goddess but her full-sized wooden form began to deteriorate. They returned her to her homeland, back to the elements.