The descendants of British conquerors who took home a stash of rare mementos after the conquest of Lower Burma more than 160 years ago will voluntarily release the artifacts from captivity and return them to Myanmar.
For years, the artifacts were kept on mantelpieces and in storage boxes in New Zealand by Gareth Bodle and his relatives.
“We were just always told, these came from Pegu—from the pagoda at Pegu,” Bodle says in a video released by the New Zealand Herald on Sunday. “[This], of course, meant absolutely nothing to us kids.”
Bodle, now 60, eventually learned that the gong, Buddha statues, and other treasures were taken from the Shwemawdaw Pagoda in Bago by Major Donald George Angus Darroch and Ensign George Bodle, who participated in the city’s capture in 1852.
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