US returns stolen antiques worth Rs 1.5 crore to India, including bronze Shiva Nataraja
In a significant development between India and the United States, the latter on Thursday returned 248 stolen century-old antiques worth Rs 1.5 crore ($ 15 million), including the 12th century bronze Shiva Nataraja in India. . According to a PTI report, this has been described as the “biggest” transfer of antiques to the country. The transfer was made during a repatriation ceremony attended by Indian Consul General Randhir Jaiswal and Deputy Special Agent responsible for US Homeland Security (HSI) Investigations Erik Rosenblatt.
The artifacts were recovered by the United States in five different criminal investigations, the Manhattan district attorney said.
“This extraordinary assemblage of artifacts, recovered from five different criminal investigations over the past decade, embodies the timeless cultural and cosmic bridge between ancient and modern India,” said Manhattan District Attorney (DA) Cy Vance , Jr in a press release.
Speaking further on the issue, Vance condemned the crime of “marauding” sacred temples by profit-seeking individuals that is not only against a country’s heritage but also its present and future. Of the returned items, 235 were seized as part of the investigation into imprisoned art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
India expresses gratitude to US for return
Expressing his gratitude, Indian Consul General Randhir Jaiswal said: “We look forward to our continued commitment to strengthen the cultural ties between India and the United States.”
PM Modi Brings 157 Unique 11th Century Indian Antiques From The United States
Earlier, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was visiting the United States, he had brought back 157 artifacts and antiques returned by the United States. On the warm gesture of the country, Prime Minister Modi expressed his deep appreciation for the repatriation of antiquities to India. Both the Prime Minister and President Biden had pledged to work to strengthen their efforts to tackle theft, illicit trade and trafficking in cultural objects during the transfer.
In addition, Republic sources had informed that the objects largely belonged to the 11th and 14th CE. Several historical antiques such as an anthropomorphic copper object from 2000 BC and a terracotta vase from the 2nd CE were among the returned items. The return package also consists of 45 antiques belonging to Before Common Era.
(With PTI inputs)