New Delhi: Ten antiquities (sculptures) retrieved from Australia and USA were handed over to the Government of Tamil Nadu here today.
The collection of antiquities included figurines named Dwarapala, Nataraja, Kankalamurti Kadayam, Nadikeswara Kadayam, Four-Armed Vishnu, Sri Devi, Siva & Parvati, Standing Child Sambandar, and Child Sambandar.
G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) attended the handing-over ceremony of the sculptures to the Government of Tamil Nadu at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), here. Minister of State for Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi ; Minister of State for Culture, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, L Murugan along with officials from the Ministry of Culture, Archeological Survey of India, Ministry of External Affairs and Tamil Nadu Government were also present.
Reddy gave all credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the retrieval of the sculptures. “The Prime Minister’s personal relationships and warm ties with world leaders from these countries have led to the respective countries swiftly identifying the stolen antiquities and sustained cooperation till their return. Therefore all the credit goes to our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji. He has not only made efforts to help retrieve these antiquities but also personally carried them back with him during his official tours abroad,” he said.
Offering details, Reddy said during Modi’s visits to the USA, 157 antiquities were returned to India which, he claimed, was the largest single collection India got back so far. “You would be aware that over the last 8 years the Government has brought back 228 heritage objects. Only 13 antiquities were brought back to India between Independence and 2013… With the sustained effort of the Government of India, and 228 antiquities being brought back since 2014, the total number has now become 241,” he disclosed.
– global bihari bureau