Biden Presents Artifacts – Home Coming Of 157 Antiques 

India has always been a center of attraction for people around the world because of its ancient culture, tradition, art, and carvings. India was once known as the Golden Bird for its wealth but we all know how the British history of  looting. Also, many antiques and gold were taken from India, with many artifacts and statues belonging to the time period between the 11th and 14th centuries, were smuggled or stolen from India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently on a visit to the US to improve relations between the two nations.

During this trip, the US presented the Indian Prime Minister with approx and artifacts. The antiques include many items like a Nataraj statue that is 8.5 cm tall and is from the 12th century, a 1.5- meter bas relief panel of Revanta in Sandstone from the 10th century, several copper objects, many bronze figures, and 56 terracotta pieces.


One of the most antique items, India is going to get back is an 18th- century sword in its sneath and that contains the inscription which mentions Guru Hargobind Singh in the Persian language. All these items were smuggled or stolen out from India over a time that mostly belonged to the 11th and 14th centuries. Apart from these various antiquities, including anthropomorphic copper objects from 2000 BC and the terracotta vase from the 2nd century.

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India has been home to varieties of the art form that consists of painting, sculpture, pottery. It also has a vast mythological history from there it gets the most of antiques and statues. The artifacts which are being handed over are mostly cultural, it has 60 figures related to Hinduism, 16 figures related to Buddhism, and 9 figures related to Jainism. They have spread across the metals, stone, and terracotta. 

India will also be welcoming paper paintings depicting Rasikapriya by an unknown painter, which seems to be influenced by the famed works of Rasikapriya was composed by the poet Keshava Das in the 16th Century. The painting holds a rubber stamp marking, which depicts that it was once formed part of the personal collection of the Maharaja of Bikaner and was accessioned in 1964.

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In the meeting between Modi and the President of United States Joe Biden, both the leaders committed to strengthening efforts to combat theft, trafficking of Cultural objects, and illicit trade as announced. According to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), they visited New York and identified approximately hundreds of the artifacts seized by the United States. They were original Indian antiquities of tremendous value and were stolen from the Temples of Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and were smuggled to foreign countries.

Urmila Sant, an ASI archaeologist who was part of the team to the United States, said that they visited went to the US after they got the call from the office of the Consulate General of India about the seized artifacts and added that they have identified almost a hundred antique objects that also includes the idols belonging to the Gupta Period that is from 5th to 6th Century and the terracotta objects belonging to Harappan Culture. 

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She also added that 17 artifacts were seized by the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement of Homeland Security from the fleet of art smuggler Subhash Kapoor. Apart from these, all the 56 terracotta objects Toledo Museum at Ohio were returned to the Indian Consulate had been gifted to the museum by Subhash Kapoor. The majority of them belonged to the Chandraketugarh from West Bengal, which is known for its terracotta art.

If any of the stolen or smuggled artifacts are seized in any country, the identification and return process to the origin country can take more than one year. From 2014 till 2021, more than 200 stolen and smuggled antiquities have been returned, and many are still in the process.

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