Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (IC) recently inaugurated the ‘Gallery of Confiscated and Retrieved Antiquities’ at Purana Qila in New Delhi
Curated by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Gallery is located in the arched cells of Purana Qila and displays confiscated and retrieved antiquities to public.
Speaking to the media after tour of the gallery, Patel said that it is a matter of pride that we have been able to retrieve the previous pieces of our heritage from abroad. The number of antiquities recovered in the last five years is the highest ever, he revealed.
The displayed heritage in the Gallery is a part of Central Antiquity Collection (CAC), located in Purana Qila which was created to house the antiquities explored and excavated by the ASI and also those antiquities which were retrieved and confiscated with the help of Ministry of External Affairs and various law enforcing agencies. Presently, a total of 2,72,824 antiquities have been stored in the CAC out of which 4,144 are confiscated/retrieved antiquities.
The ‘Gallery of Confiscated and Retrieved Antiquities’ showcases a part display of 198 confiscated and retrieved antiquities belonging from ancient to modern period from the CAC collection. The exhibition also sensitizes the visitors about the illegal trade of precious heritage items and process and regulations for retrieving them.
So far, ASI, has retrieved 44 stolen antiquities from USA, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Canada and England and 119 more antiquities are in the process of retrieval. Owing to the efforts of ASI no theft has been reported from any Centrally Protected Monument or site museum under ASI during last few years.
The gallery will remain open for public from 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM (except Friday).