Dhaka – A statue of Lady Justice was reinstalled two days after it was removed from Bangladesh’s Supreme Court premises as Islamists cried for its demolition, officials said on Sunday.
The sculpture, a blindfolded woman in a sari holding scales and a sword in her hands, was reinstalled at the annex building of the apex court early on Sunday.
Sculptor Mrinal Haque, who supervised the removal work, also was present during the reinstallation in the middle of night after the Supreme Court asked him to do so at the new site.
“The sculpture found a new home, but it (sculpture) will come hardly to the public notice in the new place,” Haque told reporters. But he was happy at least the artwork was rehabilitated.
The artwork was originally installed in front of the Supreme Court’s main gate in December last year that sparked protests by the radical Islamists group.
The authorities on Friday removed the sculpture to avert an ‘untoward situation’ after thousands of radical Islamists turned out at demonstrations to demand its removal or demolition since December.
Left-leaning activists clashed with police in Dhaka on Friday as they protested removal of the statue and asked the government for its reinstallation.
But the hard-line Islamist groups thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for accepting their demands. They, at a satisfaction march after the weekly Friday prayers, also warned that the sculptured will be thrown into the Bay of Bengal if the same is reinstalled.
They say the statue that represents the Roman goddess Iustitia and the Greek goddess Themis, is an idol, which is prohibited in Islam.
The Islamists also demanded removal of similar artworks from across Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has a secular constitution based on British common law, but radical Islamic groups have long campaigned for the introduction of strict Islamic law, or sharia.