Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

U.S. Handovers Antiquities to Nepal


By TRN Online, Kathmandu, Apr. 2: U.S. government has handed over the three lost antiquities to Nepal on Thursday. 

The Acting Consul General of Nepal Bishnu Prasad Gautam has received three Nepali lost antiquities from Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, Executive District Attorney of New York County District Attorney's Office in New York.

On behalf of the Government of Nepal, Acting Consul General Gautam, and District Attorney of New York County Cyrus Vance Jr. have signed an agreement establishing the recovery, hand over and repatriation of the antiquities to Nepal.

The received antiquities were seated Ganesha, circa 15-16th Century AD., size 3.13 x 2.12 x 5.5 inch, seated Buddha in Bhumisparsa Mudra, circa 14-15th Century AD, size 7.13 x 4.5 x 9 inch and wooden beam depicting a coloured Apsara, circa 13th Century AD, size 8 x 9 x 50 inch, will be sent to Nepal by the Consulate soon.

Speaking at the ceremony, Acting Consul General Gautam expressed deep gratitude to the United States Department of Homeland Security and its officials, District Attorney of New York County Vance, Executive District Attorney Illuzzi-Orbon, Acting Assistant Special Agent of the Department of Homeland Security and in-charge of investigation Erick Silverman, Chief of Antiquities Trafficking Unit of the District Attorney New York County Col. Matthew Bogdanos, and analysts for their hard work.

He appreciated their dedication and collaboration in recovery and returning these Nepali artefacts to Nepal. He welcomed their commitment to working jointly for the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage.

He thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal for their guidance and coordination in this process.

Executive District Attorney Illuzzi-Orbon expressed satisfaction to have been able to recover and handover the lost Nepali antiquities back to Nepal. She expressed a deep commitment to working together with the Department of Homeland Security and all other countries in pursuit of tracking antiquities illegally owned and return to their rightful countries and people. 

These antiquities were recovered by the Department of Homeland Security from a network of international smugglers of antiquities and their associates. New York County District Attorney's Office managed to win the rigorous legal processes before securing the release of these artefacts and handing them over to Nepal. Investigation on the people involved in illegal possession, exportation, and sale of antiquities is ongoing.