The Union Minister of Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy on Thursday informed that since the time the Modi government came to power in 2014, India has repatriated 41 heritage artefacts back to the country which is more than 75% of the total objects returned to date.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Reddy said that a total of 54 antiquities have been retrieved from foreign countries till date since 1976, out of which 41 have been repatriated under PM Modi’s leadership.
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. Since 2014, India has repatriated 41 heritage objects back to India which is more than 75% of the total objects returned.
He credited PM Modi for his relentless efforts, which led to the retrieval of the heritage antiquities, said Reddy. “I believe that the recent success is because of our continuously improving cultural relations that were 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”, the Culture Minister added.
Reddy also lauded the tireless efforts of various government agencies like ASI, CBI among others in this endeavour.
Congress brought back less than 10 antiquities in its 25 years of ruling
He further claimed that the Nehru-Gandhi family’s succeeding leaders were more concerned with amassing wealth for themselves than with safeguarding India’s cultural and civilisational wealth.
“Since 1976 the Congress government which has ruled for close to 25 years, brought back less than 10 antiquities. This shows a total lack of commitment and respect that successive Congress governments showed towards preserving our Indian civilizational heritage. Successive leaders of the Nehru-Gandhi family were more interested in accruing wealth for themselves rather than protecting India’s cultural and civilisational wealth,” Reddy added.
Australia decides to hand over 14 artefacts to Modi Govt
Only a week ago, the National Gallery of Australia had decided to return 14 artefacts of cultural significance to the Indian government. On July 29, OpIndia reported that a total of 14 artefacts being repatriated, includes six bronze or stone sculptures, a brass processional standard, a painted scroll, and six photographs. The collection is worth about $2.2 million (approximately Rs 16.34 crore). Some of them date back to the 12th Century.
The director of NGA, while speaking on his decision, contributed it to the relationship Australia and India shared with each other. “This is the right thing to do, it’s culturally responsible and the result of collaboration between Australia and India.”