Breaking News:-

101 antiquities seized by Customs handed over to Archaeological Survey of India

MUMBAI: The Customs Department handed over a total of 101 antiquities to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for display and specialised care on Thursday.

Out of the said 101 antiquities, a few will be displayed at 'Dharohar' the National Museum of Customs & CGST at Goa.

The Mumbai Customs Department handed over a collection of historical treasures, which included five mediaeval-era Khanjars and a knife, to the ASI, which were seized as a result of alert action by the officers in 2003 and 2004.

Intelligence was gathered that some syndicates were actively engaged in the export of artefacts through postal exports from India to France. Vigilant action resulted in the interception of five Khanjars and the seizure was made in 2003.

The five Khanjars date back to the mediaeval period, featuring intricate leaf designs in the Meenakari style. The Khanjars hilts are adorned with floral motifs, animal head shapes, and fish scale decorations. Notably, one of the Khanjar hilts is crafted from a black-colored semi-precious stone, which is known to be very rare. Their covers are decorated in Koftgiri style with an inlay of silver.

A year later, in 2004, the same syndicate was involved in the import of a Damascus folding knife from Japan. The knife, dating back to the British era, showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of that time. With a wooden hilt and a brown-colored leather cover, this folding knife is a testament to the historical significance of the British period.

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman virtually presided over the handing-over ceremony of the antiquities seized by Customs to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The handing-over ceremony was held at seven different locations in Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai and Pune.

The handover ceremony was held simultaneously at seven different locations, viz., Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai and Pune.

While handing over customs-seized antiquities to the ASI, the Union Finance Minister stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making sure that stolen artefacts and antiquities are brought back to India from various countries for which bilateral negotiations keep on taking place.

Many artefacts and antiquities have been brought back in recent times and with these 101 seized articles of antiquities, Customs is contributing to India's rich history.

The Indian Customs and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are collaborating since decades to secure and preserve our antiquities, be that work of literature, artefacts, idols, paintings, coins etc. Unauthorised export of antiquities is prohibited under the provisions of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972.


Fast, accurate and updated real time local news is available on your smartphone and tablet.