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U.S. hands over 105 antiquities to India following agreement

In a significant gesture of cultural repatriation, the United States handed over 105 trafficked antiquities to India during a repatriation ceremony at the Indian Consulate in New York. The restitution of these artefacts is a result of an agreement made during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the U.S. last month.

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Cultural Property Agreement to Prevent Illegal Trafficking

  • During the visit, India and the U.S. also reached an understanding to work on a Cultural Property Agreement aimed at preventing the illegal trafficking of cultural artefacts in the future.
  • This agreement will foster closer collaboration between Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies of both countries, further enhancing their bilateral ties.

Emotional Significance for India

  • For the people of India, these artefacts hold immense cultural and heritage value, reflecting their living heritage.
  • The artefacts represent various regions of India, with origins spanning from the 2nd-3rd century CE to the 18th-19th century CE. Made of terracotta, stone, metal, and wood, around 50 of these artefacts have religious significance.

Continued Efforts for Repatriation

  • The Indian government has been actively working to retrieve stolen Indian antiquities, and this recent repatriation of 105 artefacts adds to the success of their efforts.
  • In the past, the U.S. has also returned artefacts to India, demonstrating a shared commitment to preserving cultural heritage and fostering an emotional bond between the two nations.

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