The Past Is Now The 'Present': PM Modi To Bring Home 157 Indian Artefacts And Antiquities From The US That Were Stolen Over The Years

The Past Is Now The 'Present': PM Modi To Bring Home 157 Indian Artefacts And Antiquities From The US That Were Stolen Over The YearsPM Modi taking a look at ancient Indian artefacts housed in the US
Snapshot
  • PM Modi and President Biden have committed themselves to strengthening their efforts to combat theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects.

    While half of the artefacts (71) are cultural, the other half consist of figurines which relate to Hinduism (60), Buddhism (16) and Jainism (9).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will bring home 157 artefacts and antiquities including figurines related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism from the United States, an endeavour that embodies continuous efforts by the Modi government to bring back our antiquities and artefacts from across the world.

There were 157 artefacts and antiquities handed over by the US during the Prime Minister’s visit. The PM conveyed his deep appreciation for the repatriation of antiquities to India by the US.

The list of 157 artefacts includes a diverse set of items ranging from the one-and-a-half metre bas relief panel of Revanta in sandstone of the 10th CE to the 8.5cm tall, exquisite bronze Nataraja from the 12th CE.

The items largely belong to the period of 11th CE to 14th CE as well as historic antiquities such as the copper anthropomorphic object of 2000 BC or the terracotta vase from the 2nd CE.

Some 45 antiquities belong to the Before Common Era.

PM Modi and President Biden committed themselves to strengthening their efforts to combat theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects.
While half of the artefacts (71) are cultural, the other half consist of figurines which relate to Hinduism (60), Buddhism (16) and Jainism (9).

Their make spreads across metal, stone and terracotta. The bronze collection primarily contains ornate figurines of the well-known postures of Lakshmi Narayana, Buddha, Vishnu, Siva Parvathi and the 24 Jain Tirthankaras and the less common Kankala Murti, Brahmi and Nandikesa besides other unnamed deities and divine figures.

The motifs include religious sculptures from Hinduism (Three headed Brahma, Chariot Driving Surya, Vishnu and his consorts, Siva as Dakshinamurti, Dancing Ganesha etc), Buddhism (Standing Buddha, Bodhisattva Manjushri, Tara) and Jainism (Jain Tirthankara, Padmasana Tirthankara, Jaina Choubisi) as well as secular motifs (Amorphous couple in Samabhanga, Chowri Bearer, Female playing drum etc).

There are 56 terracotta pieces (Vase 2nd CE, Pair of Deer 12th CE, Bust of Female 14th CE) and an 18th CE sword with sheath with inscription mentioning Guru Hargovind Singh in Persian).

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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