“Archaeological Services of India have indicated that these objects fall under the category of antiquities.”

“Archaeological Services of India have indicated that these objects fall under the category of antiquities.”

A council in the Scottish city of Glasgow has voted to repatriate seven historic artefacts stolen from India, in what has been dubbed the biggest repatriation of artefacts ever to Scotland and the first repatriation of antiquities to India since any UK museum service.

Glasgow City Council had received a formal request from the Indian High Commission in London earlier this year for the return of six architectural antiquities from Kanpur, Gwalior and Bihar.

Another request made by Jaspreet Singh Sukhija, First Secretary for Commerce at the High Commission, last month was for a 14th-century ceremonial sword or talwar and scabbard from the Deccan region.

“The antiquities were requested by the High Commission of India, on behalf of the Government of India and the Archaeological Services of India, as they are part of the historical heritage of India,” notes a council report released earlier this week. .

“Archaeological Services India has advised that these items fall under the category of antiquities under Indian national law and therefore form part of the historical heritage of India. These objects are of cultural, historical and religious significance to the Indian people as a whole and have been illegally removed from India,” it reads.

According to available information, six of the artifacts were stolen from Hindu temples and shrines in different states of India in the 19th century, while the sword was illegally purchased following theft from the owner, sold and smuggled out of India.

“The seven objects were then donated to the collection of the city museum,” the report notes.

Glasgow Life Museums has since held consultations with Sukhija and the Indian government has agreed to bear the full cost of returning the artifacts to India.

“Glad all councilors backed the committee’s recommendations today,” councilor David McDonald, trustee of Glasgow Life, which runs the city’s museums, said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday.

“Today’s agreement represents the largest-ever repatriation of artefacts from Scotland and the first repatriation of antiquities to India from any UK museum service,” he said. declared.

Museums Galleries Scotland, Scotland’s museum and gallery development body, welcomed the council’s decision, which also involves the return of artefacts to Nigeria and the Cheyenne River and the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribes.

“The return of these objects is an important and positive step which reflects the ongoing work that Glasgow is undertaking to redress the illicit removal of cultural objects from their communities of origin,” the organization said in a statement.


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