Stolen, illegally sold Indian art in the US making its way back. US Envoy to India Garcetti explains

Jul 18, 2023

New York (US) July 18 (ANI): United States Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti on July 18 spoke on the repatriation ceremony held by the US in New York. He explained that the government is working on the return to artefacts that India needs. The Indian consulate in New York on July 17 held a repatriation ceremony for 105 trafficked antiquities handed over by the US. The antiquities will soon be transported to India, according to a release issued by the Consulate General of India in New York. The development comes following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US in June 2023. Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu while speaking on the occasion, thanked the US side, in particular Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg and his Anti-Trafficking Unit and the Homeland Security Investigation team for their stellar cooperation and support. The repatriation ceremony was attended by senior officials from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Homeland Security Investigation team, as per the official release. During PM Modi's state visit, India, and the US agreed to work on a Cultural Property Agreement that would help prevent the illegal trafficking of cultural artefacts. 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 artefacts represent a wide geographical spread in terms of their origin in India, with 47 from Eastern India, 27 from Southern India, 22 from Central India, six from Northern India and three from Western India. The artefacts which span from 2nd-3rd century CE to 18th-19th century CE, are made of terracotta, stone, metal and wood. Around 50 artefacts relate to religious subjects Hinduism, Jainism and Islam] and the rest are of cultural significance.