As many as nine antiquities of India lying in the US would be returned shortly, Rajya Sabha was informed.
In a written reply, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said, the team of experts from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) examined 91 items including 64 sketches at New York and Toledo Museum Toledo, during their visit to the US from June 2 to 6 this year.
“Out of these, 17 objects were found as antiquities of Indian origin. 8 antiquities have been returned during the visit of Prime Minister on June 6, while 2 idols have been taken over by Idol Wing of Tamil Nadu from Department of Homeland Security (US) prior to the visit of the Prime Minister. Remaining 9 objects will be returned to India shortly,” Sharma said.
He said the artefacts returned back to India include the stolen objects from religious sites.
To an another query, the minister said to ensure the security and protection of the ancient sculptures, idols and artefacts, watch and ward staff has been deployed at Centrally Protected Monuments and Archaeological Sites.
The security has been further supplemented by engagement of private security guards and the state police, he added.