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Culture Minister inaugurates 'Gallery of Confiscated and Retrieved Antiquities' at Purana Qila


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Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel on Saturday inaugurated the 'Gallery of Confiscated and Retrieved Antiquities' at Purana Qila in New Delhi.
Curated by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Gallery is located in the arched cells of Purana Qila and displays confiscated and retrieved antiquities to the public, an official statement said.
"It is a matter of pride that we have been able to retrieve the previous pieces of our heritage from abroad. The number of antiquities recovered in the last five years is the highest ever," the minister was quoted as saying as per the official statement.
"The credit goes to our Prime Minister who not only made efforts to help retrieve these antiquities but personally carried them back with him during his official tours abroad," he added.
The displayed heritage in the Gallery is a part of Central Antiquity Collection (CAC), located in Purana Qila which was created to house the antiquities explored and excavated by the ASI and also those antiquities which were retrieved and confiscated with the help of Ministry of External Affairs and various other law enforcing agencies.
The 'Gallery of Confiscated and Retrieved Antiquities' showcases a part display of 198 confiscated and retrieved antiquities belonging from ancient to modern period from the CAC collection. The exhibition also sensitises the visitors about the illegal trade of precious heritage items and process and regulations for retrieving them.
The display in the gallery ranges from proto-historic to modern period and affiliated to different provenances. The wide range of retrieved or confiscated antiquities includes stone and metal sculptures, coins, paintings, ivory and copper artifacts, architectural panels, etc.
Some of the exclusive exhibits showcased in the gallery are Bronze sculptures of Parvati and Sridevi of Chola Period (brought back in 2016), Standing Buddha (returned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the year 1999), terracotta Mother Goddess of Mauryan period (brought back in the year 2016), Brahma-Brahmani (confiscated by Central Bureau of Investigation), Mithuna (seized in New York and brought back in the year 2010) and Kashmiri Harwan tile (returned to India by Consulate General of India, New York in the year 2016).
"So far, ASI, has retrieved 44 stolen antiquities from USA, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Canada and England and 119 more antiquities are in the process of retrieval. Owing to the efforts of ASI no theft has been reported from any Centrally Protected Monument or site museum under ASI during last few years," the statement informed.

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First Published: Aug 31 2019 | 11:05 PM IST

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