This sculpture belongs to a series of diorite statues commissioned by Gudea, who devoted his energies to rebuilding the great temples of Lagash and installing statues of himself in them. Many inscribed with his name and divine dedications survive. Here, Gudea is depicted in the seated pose of a ruler before his subjects, his hands folded in a traditional gesture of greeting and prayer. The Sumerian inscription on his robe lists the various temples that he built or renovated in Lagash and names the statue itself, “Gudea, the man who built the temple; may his life be long.”
Reed Enger, "Statue of Gudea," in Obelisk Art History, Published August 28, 2017; last modified May 31, 2018, http://arthistoryproject.com/timeline/the-ancient-world/mesopotamia/statue-of-gudea/.