Washington D.C. / New Delhi, June 07, 2016
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]s part of the continuous efforts by India Pride Project, and with joint efforts between the Governments of India and the USA; Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has returned over 200 priceless (stolen) Indian heritage, to PM Modi.
“It is my hope – and the hope of the American people – that this repatriation will serve as a sign of our great respect for India’s culture; our deep admiration for its people; and our sincere appreciation for the ties between our nations.” said, US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch at the ceremony with PM Modi.
Speaking about the return of the artifacts Mr. Anuraag Saxena, Co-founder of India Pride Project said, “We are thrilled our Gods are coming home! For a few years now we have been engaging in constant efforts for their return. It also gives us the strength to work towards the other thousands that have been stolen and smuggled away from India, and are yet to return.”
The restituted statues include a Bronze Ganesha, Bronze Saint Manikkavasagar, statue of Uma, a standing Jina (Jain artifact) and a centuries old Sandstone deity among 200 objects of cultural significance.
“This restitution is historic both in terms of value and number of artifacts; which incidentally dwarfs the number returned to date to India since Independence; and would not have been possible without the trust and support of team India Pride Project as well as Brenton Easter of Homeland Security.” said Mr. Vijay Kumar, Co-founder of India Pride Project.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]nuraag Saxena adds, “The Interpol estimates 9 billion dollars of illicit heritage is traded globally. India has been a major victim; and India has been a soft target for way too long! It is time we showed the heritage-mafia that enough is enough.”
As reported in CNN, Special Agent Brenton Easter of Homeland Security, USA said “There are definitely some people that are continuously dealing in stolen or illicit cultural properties. Some of those people I know exactly who they are. I know exactly where they are. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get them yet but down the road we will.”
Vijay Kumar adds, “There is increasing realization globally of the scope and scale of illicit trade in antiquities and India is still taking only baby steps but in the right direction.”
• Short Video Intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq6b07Ln0Pc
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The complete press release is shown below: