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UK to hand back confiscated statues to India

Six smuggled statues from India were seized at Heathrow airport last year. They will be officially handed over to the Indian High commissioner later this week. This is a promising sign, that whilst looting is still endemic in many parts of the world, governments are now working together to restore looted artefacts to their rightful owners as rapidly as possible.

From:
PR Newswire [1]

Ancient statues returning to India
PRNewswire-GNN London 11 December
London, 11 December /PRNewswire-GNN/ —

HM REVENUE AND CUSTOMS News Release (Ref:OPNO 01/06) issued by The Government News Network on 11 December 2006

Financial Secretary to the Treasury John Healey, will on Thursday officially hand back six ancient Indian statues confiscated by HM Revenue & Customs at Heathrow last year to the Indian Deputy High Commissioner, Ambassador Ranjan Mathai.

The six statues depicting Hindu and Buddhist deities were seized at Heathrow HMRC last year and experts at the British Museum confirmed that the statues dated to between the 7th and 11th centuries A.D.

You are invited to send a photographer/film crew to cover the official handover of these precious cultural objects.

Date: Thursday 14 December Time: 9.15am arrival at the Information desk in the Great Courtyard. 9.30 Minister will hand over the statues. Please be prompt, as you will need to be escorted through the building. Venue: British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, +44 (0)20 7323 8000 (switchboard)

John Healey will be available for one-to-one interviews. Please notify interest.

For information, please contact: Victoria Coplans on 020 7147 2320 / 07776 461152.