New Delhi: The Minister of Culture, Tourism and the Development of North-eastern Region (DoNER) Shri G. Kishan Reddy in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, provided the information that a total of 54 antiquities have been retrieved from foreign countries till date since 1976.
Giving more details later, Shri G Kishan Reddy said “It is a matter of pride that we have been able to retrieve many of our stolen heritage objects from abroad”. The number of antiquities recovered in the last seven years is the highest ever, he revealed. Since 2014, India has repatriated 41 heritage objects back to India which is more than 75% of the total objects returned.
The Minister also credited Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, whose relentless efforts led to the retrieval of these antiquities from abroad. “I believe that the recent success is because of our continuously improving cultural relations that was made possible due to the warm personal relations that our Prime Minister shares with various heads of states and hence their expeditious return was made possible”, he added.
Sri Kishan Reddy lauded the tireless efforts of various government agencies like ASI, CBI among others in this endeavour. The Union Minister stated “The preservation and protection of the Indian artefacts and cultural heritage are an integral component of India’s foreign policy. Hence bringing back and the returning of these historical objects is a process to restore India’s pride and an active step to appreciate and acknowledge the historical past of our country. We are working closely with the Ministry of External Affairs to expedite the process and the necessary paperwork required for the immediate return”, Reddy added.