New Delhi: The US on Thursday returned 248 antiques worth about $15 million, or Rs 110 crore, to India. These priceless heritages include a bronze statue of 12th century Nataraj. These extraordinary items have been ploughed during five different criminal investigations in the last decade. Manhattan District Attorney Sae Wens Jr. said in a statement that these heritages are similar to a black and three cultural and temporal bridges between ancient and modern India.

He further said that the 248 items were handed over to India for repatriation at an event in the presence of Indian Consul General Randhir Jaiswal and Us Homeland Security Investigation Deputy Special Agent in In Charge Eric Rosemblet. Speaking on the occasion, Jaiswal thanked the Manhattan District Attorney for his cooperation. Wens said this is the highest ever number of antiques handed over to India. He also said that these programmes are a possible way of telling them that stealing statues from holy temples for personal gain is a crime not only towards the country but also towards the present and future of the country.

Out of these 248 items, 235 have been recovered from jailed art dealer Subhash Kapoor. Kapoor and his associates used to bring stolen items from India to Manhattan and sell them at expensive prices through Kapoor's gallery at Madison Avenue. Homeland Security New York Executive Special Agent in In Charge Ricky Patel said that all these heritages are part of India's extensive cultural heritage and are returning to the people of India.