A report by PTI on the stolen artifacts and antiques of India in foreign countries is given below:
“New York, Mar 12 Two stolen Indian statues dating back to as early as the 8th Century and valued at over USD 4,50,000 were seized in the US from premier auction house Christie’s, just days before an auction next week.
The artifacts made from sandstone were recovered from the auction house following an international investigation with assistance from the Indian government and the Interpol.
Special agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) along with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office seized the statues here yesterday, believed to be from 8th and 10th centuries AD.
The seizure comes days before the March 15 ‘Asia Week New York’ festivities as part of which Christie’s had included the two artifacts in the auction entitled ‘The Lahiri Collection: Indian and Himalayan Art, Ancient and Modern’.
The artifacts are a Buff Sandstone Stele of Rishabhanata, believed to be from Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh belonging to the 10th century AD. It depicts a stele carved with the first Jain Tirthankara and is valued at approximately USD 1,50,000.
The second artifact is a Buff Sandstone Panel depicting Revanta and His Entourage from India in the 8th Century AD, in a very rare representation of the equestrian deity and valued at approximately USD 300,000.” (PTI).
There are tens of thousands of such artifacts, statues, jewels, swords and other armaments etc. stolen or taken away by the British and other imperialists during their reign in India. Thieves have stolen such things from temples etc. and sold to foreigners. These can be seen in the museums, royal houses etc. in abundance. These are the heritages of India and has to be returned to Indian Government. The Government of India should form a high level committee to find out all about these antiques and demand the concerned governments to hand over them to the Indian government. These are historical and national property and have to be returned to India.
Will the Government of India take immediate action ?