British family returns Buddha heirloom to Sri Lanka after 100 years

Release time:2020-01-16 Publisher:Lanka Voice

A Buddha statue from an important religious site has been returned to Sri Lanka, 100 years after it was gifted to Harry Charles Purvis Bell, famously known as HCP Bell, a British civil servant and the first Commissioner of Archaeology in Ceylon, reports BBC.
Members of the Bell family have handed this statue down through the generations after the archaeologist and explorer HCP Bell was given the statue during a visit to Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy back in the 19th century, while he was working in Sri Lanka.
HCP Bell’s grandson Reverend Kenneth Bell and his daughter Fiona Davis have travelled from their homes in Overton, Hampshire to return the statue to its home inside the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.
In an interview with BBC, Fiona Davis said she realized how important it is to give back some of the things that the British had taken when they were colonizing parts of the world.
HCP Bell is a well-known archaeologist who worked on excavations in Sri Lanka during the 19th century. Davis says Bell had gifted the Buddha statue to her grandmother as an engagement present. The statue was passed down through the generations ever since.
Reverend Kenneth Bell, speaking to BBC, said “I think it is just the completeness of something which I felt is the right thing to do, that it should go back to the temple and be honoured in the place where it originated.”

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