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PM Modi Delights Indian Diaspora as Stolen Antiquities are to be Returned by US Government

PM Modi addresses Indian diaspora, praises US for returning stolen antiquities, enhancing cultural ties.

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Washington D.C., June 24: During his inaugural US State visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a lively gathering of the Indian diaspora at the Ronald Reagan Center. Expressing his elation, he commended the American government’s decision to return over 100 stolen antiquities back to India.

On the final day of his visit, PM Modi interacted with the Indian diaspora, conveying his contentment regarding the return of these valuable artifacts. He expressed his gratitude to the American government for taking this significant step.

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“I am happy that the American government has decided to return more than 100 antiquities of India that were stolen from us. These antiquities had reached the international markets. I express my gratitude to the American government for this,” PM Modi said.

He further emphasized the emotional bond between India and the United States, stating, “These antiquities of Indian origin had reached the international market through right or wrong paths, but America’s decision to return them to India shows the emotional bond between the two nations.”

The Government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been actively working to rejuvenate India’s cultural and spiritual heritage by retrieving antiquities and artifacts from across the globe. Efforts have been made to bring back numerous priceless objects, some of which hold deep cultural and religious significance.

A government release stated, “Over centuries, innumerable priceless artefacts, some with deep cultural and religious significance, had been stolen and smuggled abroad. The government adopted a proactive approach to ‘bringing back Indian artefacts and cultural heritage.”

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During various foreign visits, the Prime Minister raised the issue with global leaders and multilateral institutions. As a result, a total of 251 antiquities have been repatriated to India, with 238 of them being brought back since 2014.

In 2022, the US authorities returned 307 antiquities valued at nearly 4 million USD. These antiquities, stolen by multiple smaller trafficking networks, were seized primarily from disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.

According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L Bragg Jr, the majority of the returned antiquities were seized from Subhash Kapoor, who played a role in trafficking the items from several countries including Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

A repatriation ceremony was held at the Indian Consulate in New York, attended by India’s Consul General Randhir Jaiswal and Tom Lau, the Acting Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge of US Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”). Among the pieces returned was the Arch Parikara, a marble artwork valued at approximately USD 85,000.

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The efforts of the Indian government to reclaim these rightful artifacts that showcase the glory of India’s ancient civilization have been acknowledged. In 2022 alone, the Antiquities Trafficking Unit returned 682 antiquities valued at over USD 84 million to 13 countries. Since its inception, the unit has successfully repatriated nearly 2,200 antiquities worth over USD 160 million to 22 countries.

“The untiring efforts of the Government of India have led to the repatriation of our rightful artefacts that reflect and epitomise the glory of our ancient civilisation,” the government release concluded.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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