PM Narendra Modi inspects antiquities returned to India by Australia

New Delhi: In a historic move, 29 antiquities have been returned to India by Australia. These antiquities range in six broad categories according to themes - Lord Shiva and his disciples, worshipping Shakti, Lord Vishnu and his forms, Jain tradition, portraits and decorative objects.

The antiquities come from different time periods, with the earliest ones dating back to 9-10 century CE.

These are primarily sculptures and paintings made using variety of material - sandstone, marble, bronze, brass and paper.

Representing a large geographical region in India, the antiquities are from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal.

India has brought back several antiquities from other nations over the years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspected the antiquities and thanked his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for taking the initiative to return the antiquities.

In a catalogue of the antiquities shared by the government, one of them - Shiva and his disciples - is shows as belonging to 9th-10th century CE. The material is sandstone and the origin is mentioned as Rajasthan.

India has brought back several antiquities from other nations over the years.

In September last year, PM Modi brought back 157 artefacts and antiquities from the US, where he and US President Joe Biden also expressed commitment to strengthening efforts to combat theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects.

The government also shared a catalogue of antiquities returned by Australia

PM Modi and Mr Morrison also held a virtual summit today.

"I would like to especially thank you for taking the initiative to return ancient Indian artefacts. Among them are hundreds of years old idols and pictures illegally removed from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh along with many other Indian states," PM Modi said.