Antiquities to be returned by US

Context: During his state visit to the US last week, Prime Minister had announced that over 100 stolen antiquities were being returned to India. About the news:
  • Some of the 105 antiquities that are set to be returned to India are verified by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is the custodian of all repatriated artefacts.
  • The antiquities, in different mediums such as marble, terracotta and sandstone, span a period of 1,600 years, from the 1st century BC to the 15th century AD.
  • The Ministry of Culture is expected to sign a cultural property agreement with the US for smooth repatriation of all such antiquities found to be smuggled out of the country.
  • Few of the antiquities to be returned:
    • A terracotta Yakshi plaque from 1st century BC which was stolen from eastern India
    • A 9th century red sandstone Dancing Ganesha from central India
    • A 10th century Kubera from central India
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
  • It is the premier organisation for archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
  • Established in: 1861 by Alexander Cunningham
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Culture
  • Functions: 
    1. Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
    2. To regulate all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
    3. It also regulates the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
News Source: The Indian Express

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