A terracotta Yakshi plaque from the first century BC that was taken from “eastern India,” a Kubera from the tenth century, and a red sandstone Dancing Ganesha from the ninth century, both from central India, are among the 105 artefacts that the United States plans to return to India.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that more than 100 stolen antiquities would be restored to India during his official visit to the United States.
“I’m glad the American government decided to return more than 100 stolen Indian items. These items may have travelled via a variety of ways, some legitimate and others illegal, to get to the international market. I want to express my profound gratitude to the American government for returning these items, the prime minister had said. It is believed that imprisoned antiquarian Subhash Kapoor smuggled the majority of these antiquities out of the country.
The Indian Express reported on March 14 that at least 77 artefacts from the Met Museum of Art in New York are listed in the museum’s catalogue and are related to Subhash after conducting an investigation with the assistance of the UK-based Finance Uncovered and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
16 antiquities returned to India
This month, The Metropolitan Museum announced that 16 of these artefacts had been returned to India. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which has been assigned as the curator of all repatriation objects, has already verified some of the 105 antiquities that are expected to be returned to India.
A group of senior ASI officials would soon travel to the US to confirm the location of the remaining artefacts, the source claimed. “We frequently take care of the retrieval of our antiques that are abroad. According to an ASI spokesman, about 105 of these products are currently being sent back from the US.
According to official sources, the artefacts, which are in a variety of materials like sandstone, terracotta, and marble, date back 1,600 years, from the first century BC to the fifteenth century AD, and have great market and historical worth.
A standing Surya sculpture from the 11th century, two Apsara figures made of sandstone from central India in the 14th century, and a tiny Jain shrine made of marble from Gujarat or Maharashtra in the 12th to 13th centuries are among the artefacts.
After the artefacts are brought back to India, the ASI, which is governed by the Ministry of Culture, will decide whether they should be displayed in the Purana Qila museum in Delhi, which has been designated as a museum for repatriated artefacts, returned to their original location, or given to the appropriate state government.