PM brings 157 artefacts & antiquities from the US
- Prime Minister will be bringing with him as many as 157 artefacts and antiquities from the United States of America.
- The artefacts were handed over by the United States during PM Modi’s visit to the country.
- The artefacts include those once stolen or smuggled out of the country and mostly belong to the period between the 11th and 14th Centuries like motifs, statutes, stones, and terracotta.
About Artefacts and Antiquities
- While some of artefacts hold cultural values, others are significant to various religions practiced in India.
- Among these, half of the artefacts (71) are of cultural significance, the other half consists of figurines that relate to Hinduism (60), Buddhism (16), and Jainism (9).
- Some items have historical importance like the copper anthropomorphic object of 2000 BC or the terracotta vase from the 2nd CE.
- Similarly, 45 antiquities belong to the Before Common Era.
- The Hindusim sculptures include three-headed Brahma, Chariot Driving Surya, Vishnu, and his Consorts, Siva as Dakshinamurti, Dancing Ganesha, etc.
- Buddhism sculptures include Standing Buddha, Boddhisattva Majushri, Tara and Jainism sculptures include Jain Tirthankara, Padmasana Tirthankara, Jaina Choubisi.
India's retrieval till date
- Since 1976, a total of 54 antiquities have been retrieved from foreign countries.
- A number of these artefacts were taken by the imperialists during the colonial period, while some have historical importance.
- In 1976, Sawn Stucco Head hailing from Nalanda, Bihar was retrieved from the UK and France.
- Similarly, in 1991, Terracotta figures from Bhitargaon, Uttar Pradesh was retrieved from the USA.
- Government of India has been making relentless efforts towards the retrieval of antiquities from abroad.
- Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), CBI among several others are working closely on this.
- Further, one of the focuses of India’s foreign policy is the preservation and protection of Indian artefacts and cultural heritage.