Do we put them inside museums or restore them to their original places of worship? Your story "Return of the gods" (#5) provokes debate. It states pros
and cons, but argues against the idea of placing a new image of Uma-Maheshwar at the Dhulikhel site and keeping the returning gods in the safety of a museum.
While judging such a potential replacement as "fake", the argument falls victim of the basic attitude of the international art trade which, above all, values the singularity and authenticity of an art object, and abhors anything copied.
It thus dismisses what could be a genuine new interpretation of one of the most popular themes for the stone sculptors ofNepal, the divine couple Uma- Maheshwar. Repeated in countless variations since more than one thousand years, there is no "original", and thus no negative notion of copy or fake in the traditions of Nepali art.
I found "Return of the gods" (#5) quite informative. But I would like to correct a quote attributed to me. I never said that the best thing is to have a replica in Dhulikhel. My suggestion was to offer a new sculpture the locals, if they agree.
I also would not like to worship to a copy, a pastiche. Other than that, I liked Sujata Tuladhar's article and hope that it furthers thecause of heritage preservation.