The life-size sculpture of Maharaja Ranjit Singh – the ruler of the Sikh empire during the 19th century – has been restored to its golden shine and is expected to be reinstalled at a safer place at Lahore Fort, sources said on Saturday.
The nine-foot-tall statue, made of cold bronze, has been repaired by the Fakir Khana Museum, under the aegis of which it was originally sculpted in 2019.
Singh’s statue was vandalised in 2020 for the second time since it was placed at Lahore Fort in June 2019 in commemoration of his 180th death anniversary.
A teenager, identified as Zeeshan, who is suspected to have broken an arm of the statue, was also arrested. The accused, reportedly an active member of a religious party, had confessed to his crime. In his initial statement to the police, the suspect claimed that Ranjit Singh’s statue should not have been built as he had committed atrocities against Muslims when he was a ruler.
The statue shows the regal Sikh emperor sitting on a horse with a sword in hand in Sikh attire. Singh is sitting on his favourite Arabic horse named Kahar Bahar which was a gift by Dost Muhammad Khan.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled Punjab for 40 years in the 19th Century.
The sculpture was made under the supervision of Faqir Khana Museum Director Faqir Saifuddin
Sikh Heritage Foundation UK Director Boby Singh Bansal, commissioned the sculpture in association with the Walled City of Lahore Authority.