Antique statues, worth several thousand dollars, were returned to India by the US. The statues, one of which is valued at $225,000, were stolen from India and put up on display at two American museums. Both statues were handed over to India’s Consul-General in New York by the Cyrus Vance Jr, the Manhattan District Attorney during a repatriation ceremony, reports said.
The first statue, known as Lingodhbhavamurti, is made out of granite and was sculpted around the 12th century. It is reported to be a representation of Lord Shiva and is dated back to the Chola dynasty. After it was stolen from Tamil Nadu, the statue was put in display at the Birmingham Museum in Alabama.
The second statue depicts the bodhisattva of wisdom, Manjusri, holding up a sword, according to a report on The Hindu. This statue was stolen from the Bodh Gaya Temple located in Bihar and dates back to the 12thcentury. It was on display at the Ackland Art Museum of the University of North Carolina.
“[T]rading in stolen artifacts is a crime and my Office’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit is committed to recovering these precious items and returning them to their countries of origin for the benefit of all those who seek to study, view, and appreciate these treasured relics,” Mr. Vance was quoted as saying.
As per reports, in 2017, the US had returned to India as many as 200 antique items that were smuggled, thanks to a collective effort from agencies in both countries.