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US to return stolen ancient idols of Hindu Gods to Modi

US to return stolen ancient idols of Hindu Gods to Modi during next visit

These include a priceless bronze idol of Lord Ganesha removed from a temple in Tamil Nadu, a statue from the Chola period and a Mauryan dynasty statue. Some of these priceless pieces were stolen from museums and temples and then smuggled into the US.

There is an added cause for cheer during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit this time. At a ceremony in Washington on Monday night, artefacts stolen from India will be returned to Modi.

These include a priceless bronze idol of Lord Ganesha removed from a temple in Tamil Nadu, a statue from the Chola period and a Mauryan dynasty statue. Some of these priceless pieces were stolen from museums and temples and then smuggled into the US.

HOMECOMING of STOLEN GODS

“One of these is the idol of Saint Manikkavichavakar also known as the Sampanthar Sivan. This is from the Sripuranthan village in Tamil Nadu,” sources told Mail Today in Washington DC. The US Department of Justice and the US Department of Homeland Security have painstakingly recovered the stolen idols and are now returning them to India.

“There is an impressive ceremony planned at the Blair House where Prime Minister Modi will be staying. Here, more than 10 such priceless Indian cultural properties will be returned to India,” sources added.

One of the statues to be returned is a female figurine from the Mauryan period, between 320-200 BC. There is also a plaque of Yakshi (female nature spirit) from the eastern India, perhaps from the Shunga period in West Bengal. Sources have told India Today that this is just the beginning.

Talks are going on for the move to be streamlined and many more such statues and stolen Indian artefacts will be returned to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington on Monday on a three-day visit during which he will hold talks with President Barack Obama to review bilateral ties and address a joint session of the US Congress.

UPDATE:

The United States today returned over 200 cultural artefacts estimated at US$100 million to India at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“For some, these artefacts may be measured in monetary terms but for us this is beyond that. It’s a part of our culture and heritage,” the Prime Minister said at the ceremony held at the Blair House.

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