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13 antiquities brought to India before 2014, 229 retrieved post: Union min

Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy on Wednesday said 229 antiquities, which were taken out of India during different eras, have been retrieved from overseas during the past eight years

G Kishan Reddy (Photo: Wikipedia)

G Kishan Reddy (Photo: Wikipedia)

Press Trust of India Bhopal
Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy on Wednesday said 229 antiquities, which were taken out of India during different eras, have been retrieved from overseas during the past eight years, while this number was only 13 before 2014, reflecting the Centre's resolve to bring valuable articles associated with cultural pride back to the country. Asked about bringing back the Kohinoor diamond from Britain, Reddy said he would like the famed jewel to be in the country. He was talking to reporters on the margins of the first G20 working group meeting of culture which began at Maharaja Chhatrasal Convention Centre (MCCC) at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur district. The meeting will go on till February 25 at Khajuraho, an ancient city known for its magnificent temples and intricate sculptures and located some 370km from the state capital Bhopal.
India currently holds the presidency of G20 or Group of 20 - an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies. The Union minister said only 13 Indian antiquities, which were stolen or taken to foreign countries during different eras, were retrieved till 2014 after Independence. In comparison, 229 antiquities were brought back to India from abroad in the last eight years due to efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who assumed office in 2014, he said, adding 25 of them are being exhibited during the ongoing Culture Working Group (CWG) meet of G20 in Khajuraho. This clearly highlights the Centre's resolve to bring valuable articles of cultural pride back to the country, he added. Reddy said more than 250 meetings of the G20 working group are being organised across 56 cities of the country as the PM believes foreign delegates will be culture and tourism ambassadors when they return home.
He said, "We are trying to showcase our heritage and culture to delegates during all these meetings. Local culture is also being showcased where these meetings are being organised." The Union minister said the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which looks after 3,600 monuments, is working to digitise and conduct surveys besides amending its Act by taking opinions of different stakeholders. During the working group meeting at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh also inaugurated an exhibition titled, 'Re (ad) dress: Return of Treasures. Reddy said the exhibition is aimed at showcasing the spirit, need and future of the repatriation of cultural property through select examples.
The exhibition will reflect upon the concept of repatriation through the lens of cultural objects, their histories and multitude of stories surrounding their successful return, he said. Reddy said protection and restitution of cultural properties will be one of the key focus areas of discussions for the G20 working group meeting of culture under India's presidency.
The theme of G20, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -- One Earth, One Family, One Future -- highlights the true spirit of India, he said. Earlier, delegates were welcomed at the Khajuraho airport upon their arrival with folk performances of Bundelkhand - Badhai and Rai. Later, traditional arts were showcased for them. One of the most important pieces being displayed in the exhibition is the 'Parrot Lady' repatriated to India in 2015 by Canada. It is now housed in the ASI site museum at Khajuraho, an official said. The exhibition portrays around 26 antiquities from across India complimented with photos and visuals of antiquities returned so far to the country along with some encouraging examples of repatriation from other parts of the world. The first G20 working group meeting of culture will have four sessions in which G20 member-states, international organisations along with officials from the Ministry of Culture will participate.
During the meeting, cultural programmes have been organised which included the Khajuraho Dance Festival.
The delegates will visit the Western Group of Temples, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. They will also be taken to the Panna Tiger Reserve.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 22 2023 | 11:36 PM IST

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