The statue from the Peshawar Museum in Pakistan was transported from its home to the Museum Rietberg in Zurich, Switzerland, and back by Emirates SkyCargo.
The ancient Gandhara civilization Buddha statue was given on special loan by the Peshawar Museum to feature in the exhibition 'Next Stop Nirvana - Approaches to Buddhism' at the Museum Rietberg, reports Gulf News of Dubai.
It was the first time that the statue had travelled outside of Pakistan. Special care had to be taken by the museums during the packing and installation process, as well as by Emirates SkyCargo during the transportation, to ensure that the monumental statue was not accidentally damaged.
Emirates SkyCargo pulled out all the stops to make sure that the statue weighing 1,700 kilogrammes, and reaching over 2 metres in height, was transported safely in the belly hold of its wide body passenger aircraft through handling processes and security measures outlined under Emirates Valuable, its specialised product for transporting precious goods. However, the air cargo carrier also had to do some out of the box thinking.
'Our standard procedures mention that any precious cargo has to be transported in secure metal door containers. However, for a statue of this size, this was not really an option,' said Julius Mooney, Commercial Development manager - Speciality Products, Emirates SkyCargo. 'For us the priority was twofold, to ensure that the shipment was handled with utmost care to avoid any damage from impact and of course to ensure the security of the priceless statue.'
Emirates SkyCargo also worked with Emirates Group Security and Transguard to ensure seamless security screening, handling and clearance for the statue.
During its transit at Dubai International Airport, the statue was quickly transferred on the ramp to its connecting aircraft.
Emirates SkyCargo executed the first leg of the movement from Peshawar to Zurich in December 2018 and completed the return leg from Zurich in early April 2019.