PM inspects antiquities returned by Australia

New Delhi, March 21 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inspected 29 antiquities repatriated to India by Canberra ahead of the India Australia Summit. The antiquities range in six broad categories as per themes — Lord Shiva and His disciples, Worshipping Shakti, Lord Vishnu and his forms, Jain tradition, portraits and decorative objects, sources said. These antiquities come from different time periods, dating as early as 9th to 10th century CE. These are primarily sculptures and paintings executed in variety of materials — sandstone, marble, bronze, brass, paper. Representing a large geographical region in India, the antiquities were taken away from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal. The Centre has been bringing back stolen Indian antiquities for sometime now. Modi and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, are set to hold a virtual summit where they will review the progress on various initiatives under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The summit comes at a time when Russia and Ukraine are engaged in a military conflict and India has taken a neutral stand contrary to other members of the Quad — which also consists of Japan and the US, besides the two. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was in India on Saturday and met Modi, a joint statement was also released. ASU ING

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