Mon. Oct 18th, 2021
 
Australia Will Return 14

Australia Will Return 14 Historic Artefacts To India

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) has decided to return 14 artefacts to the Indian Government that were acquired between 1989 and 2000. This collection is the largest yet to be repatriated by the gallery. The artworks include bronze and stone sculptures, a painted scroll and photographs, some of which were likely stolen, illegally excavated or unethically acquired from the country. The Canberra-based gallery had acquired these works of art from an infamous art dealer Subhash Kapoor, who was arrested in 2011 and is now serving his sentence in an Indian jail.

 

The NGA from its Asian art collection will be returning 13 objects that they got from Subhash Kapoor and a bronze sculpture from a Tamil Nadu temple. The artefacts include six bronze or stone sculptures, a brass processional standard, a painted scroll, and six photographs. Further research will be undertaken to identify their place of origin before they are repatriated.

Australia Will Return 14 Historic Artefacts To India

Australia Will Return 14
Australia Will Return 14 Historic Artefacts To India

 

The Tamil Nadu state Government would get back two bronze sculptures of a child-saint Sambandar belonging from the 12th century Chola dynasty. The other artefacts belong to Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.

 

In a press release, the National Gallery said that it will no longer hold any works acquired through Subhash Kapoor. As per the release, “The decision to return the works is the culmination of years of research, due diligence and an evolving framework for decision-making that includes both legal principles and ethical considerations.”

 

The local media quoted the NGA director that three other sculptures received by the museum from Art of the Past have also been removed from the NGA’s collection. Reportedly, the NGA in 2014, had also returned a Nataraj bronze sculpture to the Indian Government, which was also sourced from Kapoor.

 

The decision of returning the artefacts is being cited as the culturally responsible thing to do and is the result of collaboration between India and Australia.

Subhangee Guha

Break the Newz.

 

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