Bring the Goddess Home: Education Minister launches initiative on returning divine Anahit to Armenia

Bring the Goddess Home:  Education Minister launches initiative on returning divine Anahit to Armenia


Minister of Science and Education Armen Ashotyan took the initiative of returning the fragments of Armenian Pagan Goddess Anahit’s bronze statue from the United Kingdom (UK) to Armenia through Facebook. A great number of Facebook users have welcomed the initiative.
Minister of Science and Education Armen Ashotyan


“The UK has appointed two ambassadors to Armenia. I suggest all of us unite and appeal to the British Embassy to Armenia sending them a letter with our signatures and demand to return the fragments (head and hands) of Goddess Anahit’s well-known statue, kept at the British Museum, to Armenia. There is an experience of returning cultural values from the UK to their homelands; particularly Egypt has succeeded in this respect several times. What would you say?” Minister Ashotyan addressed to his friends.

The head and hand of the bronze statue referred to Anahit, who was goddess of fertility and war, according to the website of the British Museum, was found in 1872 by a farmer accidently when he was digging the land in Satagh, south-eastern Turkey.

“The head made its way via Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and Italy to the dealer Alessandro Castellani, who eventually sold it to the British Museum. The hand was presented to the Museum a few years later. Despite rumors that the whole statue had previously been found, the body has never come to light,” the website writes. A copy of the statue is kept at the History Museum of Armenia in Yerevan.

Ashotyan also suggests jointly drafting a common text of the letter addressed to the UK Secretary of Culture, the British ambassadors, and the management of the British Museum, as well as starting a signature collection at higher educational institutions of Armenia, on Facebook and elsewhere. The minister also reports that a number of students and NGOs have already turned to him, and it will better for them to start the collection of signatures for returning the fragments of Goddess Anahit’s statue to Armenia.