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Tamil Nadu to receive 10 stolen artefacts from New Delhi

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The government of Tamil Nadu will see 10 stolen artefacts, that were retrieved from Australia and the USA, returned from New Delhi next week.

According to The Indian Express, the artefacts were reclaimed from Australia in 2020-2022 and six were retrieved from America in 2021. 

To commemorate the return of these antiques, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has been invited to an event in Delhi next week, with several other cabinet ministers from the Centre and Tamil Nadu set to be in attendance. The artefacts will each be returned and installed at their respective sites of origin. 

Between 2014 and 2021, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) secured the return of more than 200 stolen artefacts. Once the artefacts are smuggled out of the country, it can take more than a year for stolen and smuggled items to be identified and returned. 

Among the antiques to be returned to Tamil Nadu are several sculptures of note, including an 11th to 12th-century Nataraja sculpture stolen from Punnainallur Arulmigu Mariyamman Temple in Thanjavur, a Kankalamurti idol stolen in 1985 from Narasinganadhar Swamy Temple in Tirunelveli, an 11th-century statue of Sambandar, a 12th-century carving of Siva and Parvati, a four-armed sculpture of Vishnu from the 11th-12th century and a 13th-century depiction of Nandikeshvara. 

According to the Indian Express, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are next to receive their smuggled artefacts.

“Soon, the antiquities of various other states will be returned to the respective state governments.” Said Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy. 

Read more here.

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