Archaeological explorations and excavations began in the Greater Lumbini Area from the early 1900s, and some 5,000 artifacts have been found in the Greater Lumbini Area to date. Our collection includes 200 items of terracotta figurines and fragments; stone sculptures, beads and decorated fragments; copper and silver coins; and iron and antimony nails excavated from the Lumbini area.
The very earliest artefacts date from the 6th C. BCE but the majority of them date from the 1st to 3rd C. CE. We’ve initiated a comprehensive conservation and restoration process, which includes the creation of an inventory, capacity building and advocacy.
Scholars estimate that, over the last fifty years, some 80-90% of Nepal’s antiquities including many precious sculptures have been stolen from temples and monasteries and sold to museums and private collectors. Some collectors and institutions are keen to repatriate their stolen collections back to Nepal but insist that these be received by an appropriate site in Nepal with the necessary systems and standards in place i.e. security, climate control and insurance protocols. The Lumbini Museum is thus working to ensure it meets all international systems and standards, so as to facilitate the safe repatriation of these artefacts to their true home.