The sculpture that has been severely damaged is of the Rampurva Lion Capital , built in the time of Ashoka the Great, and acknowledged as a rare specimen of Mauryan culture. (See pics)
The museum is being renovated for its 200th anniversary, and the statue, which is seven feet tall and weighs several tons, was being moved to a different part of the lobby.
West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan, who is the chairman of the museum's board of trustees, denied there was any breakage when asked about it on Thursday. "Nothing has broken as far as I know, " Mr Narayanan told NDTV.
Officials at the museum say that when the statue first arrived here, it was already damaged and a joint line was visible. They say that they decided to dismantle it along the earlier break line for the transfer.
According to sources, the statue has now been put back together with epoxy resin and is allegedly even being painted over.
The museum has been closed to the public since September for renovation.
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