Washington: The US on Monday returned over 200 cultural artefacts estimated at $100 million to India at a ceremony here attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“For some, these artefacts may be measured in monetary terms but for us this is beyond that. It’s a part of our culture and heritage,” the Prime Minister said at the ceremony held at the Blair House.
Items returned included religious statues, bronzes and terra cotta pieces, some dating back 2,000 years, looted from some of India’s most treasured religious sites.
Statue of Saint Manikkavichavakar, a Hindu mystic and poet from the Chola period (circa 850 AD to 1250 AD) stolen from the Sivan Temple in Chennai, which is valued at $1.5 million
Bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesh estimated to be 1,000-year-old
A Jain figure of Bahubali
The majority of the pieces repatriated in the ceremony were seized during Operation Hidden Idol, an investigation that began in 2007 after Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) special agents received a tip about a shipment of seven crates destined for the US manifested as “marble garden table sets”