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US To Return Over 100 Indian Antiquities, Modi Expresses Gratitude

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US To Return Over 100 Indian Antiquities, Modi Expresses Gratitude

WASHINGTON, DC (ANI) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an interaction with members of the Indian American community at the Ronald Reagan Centre here, said he was grateful that the United States government decided to return more than 100 Indian antiquities that had been “stolen from us.”

He said, “These antiquities may have gotten onto the international market in different ways – some legal, some illegal. I express my gratitude to the American government for returning these items.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, reports said, had at least 77 antiquities in its catalog linked to jailed smuggler Subhash Kapoor. The Met said last month that 16 of these antiquities had been returned to India.

At the time Museum director Max Hollein said that “last month, in light of new provenance information, we returned 16 works to India, including the Celestial Dancer, a sculpture that enraptured visitors for decades”.

The Celestial Dancer is an 11th-century sandstone sculpture from Madhya Pradesh valued at more than $1 million.

Kapoo has been described by the US Department of Homeland Security as “one of the most prolific commodities smugglers in the world.” He was arrested in Frankfurt in 2011 and extradited to India the following year.

Last year he was finally sentenced to 10 years by a court in Tamil Nadu for burglary and illegal export of idols from the Kanchipuram Varadharaja Perumal temple. He is now in Trichy jail. Kapoor also faces charges in the US.

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