A repatriation ceremony for 105 trafficked antiquities handed over by the US side was held at the Indian Consulate in New York last night. This is a follow-up to the historic State Visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States last month. Speaking on the occasion, the Ambassador of India to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu thanked the US side, for their stellar cooperation and support. He noted that for the people of India, these are not just pieces of art but part of their living heritage and culture.
The antiquities will soon be transported to India. During Prime Minister’s visit, India and the US agreed to work on a Cultural Property Agreement that would help prevent illegal trafficking of cultural artifacts. Such an understanding will add further value to the dynamic bilateral collaboration between Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies of the two countries.
The 105 artifacts represent a wide geographical spread in terms of their origin in India. 47 of these are from Eastern India, 27 from Southern India, 22 from Central India, 6 from Northern India and 3 from Western India. Spanning a period from 2nd-3rd century CE to 18th-19th century CE, the artifacts are made of terracotta, stone, metal and wood.