US Government to Return Over 100 Stolen Antiquities to India
24 June, 2023 | Mohamed Punnilath
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses joy as the US continues its commitment to combating the illegal trade in antiquities.
The United States government has announced that it will return more than 100 stolen antiquities to India. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to the Indian diaspora at the Ronald Reagan Center, in Washington, DC. These valuable antiquities, which range from the 2nd century BCE to the 19th century CE, were looted from various regions of India and illegally smuggled into the US. The collection includes sculptures, jewellery, and various artefacts that hold immense historical and cultural significance.
The collaborative efforts between the US and Indian governments have been ongoing for several years in order to repatriate these stolen treasures. Since 2014, the US has returned 238 antiquities to India, followed by an additional 307 in 2022. The return of the latest batch of antiquities is expected to take place in the coming months, and they will be proudly displayed at the prestigious National Museum in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Modi expressed his joy and pride at the US government’s decision to return these invaluable antiquities. He acknowledged that they represent not just exquisite works of art, but an integral part of India’s rich history and cultural heritage. Modi emphasized that their return is a victory for the shared civilizational heritage between India and the US and extended his gratitude to the US government for their cooperation in this endeavour, highlighting that the return of these antiquities is a testament to the strong bonds between the two nations.
The return of these stolen antiquities carries immense significance for India. It demonstrates the firm dedication of the US government to collaborate with India in tackling the illegal trade in antiquities. Moreover, it serves as a triumph for the Indian government’s relentless efforts in reclaiming its cultural heritage.
The return of these antiquities will undoubtedly contribute to the promotion and appreciation of India’s rich cultural legacy. Displayed at the esteemed National Museum in New Delhi, these treasures are bound to attract millions of visitors annually, raising awareness about India’s exceptional cultural heritage and its global importance.