Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's US visit has made headlines globally, but the news of the US government handing over hundreds of artefacts and antiquities has brought joy to millions in India. The US government has handed over as many as 157 artefacts and antiquities to PM Modi, who expressed his deep appreciation.
The leaders of both countries, PM Modi and President Joe Biden, committed to curbing theft and illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects. This is also a part of the Modi government's continued efforts to bring back antiquities & artefacts from across the world.
US hands over 157 artefacts to India
The list of 157 artefacts include a diverse set of items ranging from the one and a half metre bas relief panel of Revanta in sandstone of the 10th CE to the 8.5cm tall, exquisite bronze Nataraja from the 12th CE. The items largely belong to the period of 11th CE to 14th CE as well as historic antiquities such as the copper anthropomorphic object of 2000 BC or the terracotta vase from the 2nd CE. Some 45 antiquities belong to the Before Common Era, the official statement read.
There's a collection of bronze artefacts, which contain ornate figurines of Lakshmi Narayana, Buddha, Vishnu, Siva Parvathi, the 24 Jain Tirthankaras and Kankalamurti, Brahmi and Nandikesa postures.
The religious sculptures include Three-headed Brahma, Chariot Driving Surya, Vishnu and his Consorts, Siva as Dakshinamurti, Dancing Ganesha etc belonging to the Hindu religion. Similarly, there are motifs of Standing Buddha, Boddhisattva Majushri, Tara of the Buddhism faith, Jain Tirthankara, Padmasana Tirthankara, Jaina Choubisi of Jainism among other secular motifs such as Amorphous couple in Samabhanga, Chowri Bearer, and Female playing drum.
The PMO's statement also revealed that half of the artefacts are cultural and the other half of the figurines relate to Hinduism (60), Buddhism (16) and Jainism (9). These artefacts have been made of materials like metal, stone and terracotta.
Of the lot, there are 56 terracotta pieces, which include Vase from 2nd CE, Pair of Deer from 12th CE, Bust of Female from 14th CE and an 18th CE sword with sheath inscribed Guru Hargovind Singh in Persian.