Sri Lanka hands back Buddha relics to Taxila MuseumArchive
TAXILA: Sri Lankan authorities have returned four Buddha relics to the officials of Taxila Museum after exhibiting them in their country.Sri Lankan Minister of Internal and Cultural Affairs S.B. Navinna handed over the relics to Director General, Federal Department of Archaeology and Museums, Mashood Ahmed Mirza during a special ceremony held on Monday.
Among the relics are the teeth and bone fragments of Lord Buddha, a golden casket containing the relics and a stone reliquary.
The relics were sent to Sri Lanka on May 19 to be exhibited at the Vesak Buddhist Festival.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe inaugurated the month-long festival with a ceremony on May 21 at Temple Trees in Sri Lanka.
Taxila Museum’s curator Abdul Nasir Khan, who escorted these relics to Sri Lanka on behalf of the Pakistani government, told mediapersons that the relic casket contained a miniature gold casket which had the relics.
These relics were discovered near Dharmarajika Stupa in Taxila, the largest Buddhist religious complex in Taxila.
Speaking on the occasion, Director General, Federal Department of Archaeology and Museums, Mashood Ahmed Mirza said Pakistan had sent the relics of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka on the instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as a token of friendship on the occasion of the Vesakh Festival.
S.B. Navinna, who escort the relics back to Taxila, expressed gratitude to the Pakistani government for handing over the relics for exhibition in Sri Lanka, and said this gesture would further cement cultural relations between the two countries.
Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2016