New Delhi, September 26, 2021: 157 artefacts and antiquities were handed over by the United States during Prime Minister Modi’s visit. PM conveyed his deep appreciation for the repatriation of antiquities to India by the United States. PM Modi and President Biden committed to strengthen their efforts to combat the theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects.
The list of 157 artefacts includes a diverse set to 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.
While half of the artifacts (71) are cultural, the other half consists of figurines which relate to Hinduism (60), Buddhism (16) and Jainism (9).
Their make spreads across metal, stone and terracotta. The bronze collection primarily contains ornate figurines of the well-known postures of Lakshmi Narayana, Buddha, Vishnu, Siva Parvathi and the 24 Jain Tirthankaras and the less common Kankalamurti, Brahmi and Nandikesa besides other unnamed deities and divine figures.
The motifs include religious sculptures from Hinduism (Three headed Brahma, Chariot Driving Surya, Vishnu and his Consorts, Siva as Dakshinamurti, Dancing Ganesha etc), Buddhism (Standing Buddha, Boddhisattva Majushri, Tara) and Jainism (Jain Tirthankara, Padmasana Tirthankara, Jaina Choubisi) as well as secular motifs (Amorphous couple in Samabhanga, Chowri Bearer, Female playing drum etc).
There are 56 terracotta pieces (Vase 2nd CE, Pair of Deer 12th CE, Bust of Female 14th CE) and an 18th CE sword with sheath with inscription mentioning Guru Hargovind Singh in Persian).