The Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (Independent charge), Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated ‘Gallery of Confiscated and Retrieved Antiquities’ at Purana Qila in New Delhi today.
Curated by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Gallery is located in the arched cells of Purana Qila and displays confiscated and retrieved antiquities to public.
The display in the gallery ranges from proto-historic to modern period and affiliated to different provenances. The wide range of retrieved or confiscated antiquities includes stone and metal sculptures, coins, paintings, ivory and copper artifacts, architectural panels, etc. Some of the exclusive exhibits showcased in the gallery are Bronze sculptures of Parvati and Sridevi of Chola Period (brought back in 2016), Standing Buddha (returned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the year 1999), terracotta Mother Goddess of Mauryan period (brought back in the year 2016), Brahma-Brahmani (confiscated by Central Bureau of Investigation), Mithuna (seized in New York and brought back in the year 2010) and Kashmiri Harwan tile (returned to India by Consulate General of India, New York in the year 2016).
In the past, many of valuable antiquities, artifacts and sculptures have been stolen from India and are sold in foreign countries. As per the Antiquity and Art Treasures Act, 1972 and rules 1973, it is the duty of the Archaeological Survey of India to stop theft, illegal export and regulates domestic trade of antiquities.
So far, ASI, has retrieved 44 stolen antiquities from USA, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Canada and England and 119 more antiquities are in the process of retrieval. Owing to the efforts of ASI no theft has been reported from any Centrally Protected Monument or site museum under ASI during last few years.
The gallery will remain open for public from 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM (except Friday).