Home » United States returns 133 stolen artefacts worth $13 million to Pakistan

United States returns 133 stolen artefacts worth $13 million to Pakistan

by Haroon Amin
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133 stolen artefacts worth over $13 million were returned to Pakistan by the United States of America in a ceremony held at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York.

This is the fifth time that artefacts from the US have been sent to Pakistan; they date back to the Gandhara period.

Consul General Aamer Ahmed Atozai said that the recovered artefacts will be shown at Pakistani museums and he was grateful to the officials concerned.

The rich cultural legacy of Pakistan was highlighted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos as a deal for the repatriation of the artefacts was struck.

This return comes after 192 stolen antiquities were repatriated in a similar manner in 2022.

There is so much historical and cultural value associated with the Gandhara civilization.

  • Geographical Contex:

An historical area known as Gandhara included portions of modern-day Pakistan and Afghanistan.

With influences from Greek, Persian, Indian, and Central Asian cultures, it was a crossroads of civilizations.

Read more: Us Department Of Agriculture Will Begin $4.5 Million Fertilizer Right Initiative In Pakistan

  • Buddhist Art and Iconography:

Buddhist art from Gandhara is well known, particularly from the Kushan era (1st to 5th centuries CE).

Gandharan artists produced beautiful sculptures and reliefs that blended Indian and Hellenistic design elements.

This region produces many of the Buddha statues that show him in a human form with Greek-inspired characteristics.

  • Stupas and Monasteries:

Numerous Buddhist monasteries and stupas (relic mounds) could be found in Gandhara.

Notable examples are the Butkara Stupa and the Great Stupa of Taxila.

These buildings functioned as places of prayer, study, and meditation.

  • Spread of Buddhism:

An important factor in the Buddhist movement’s Silk Road dissemination was Gandhara.

Teachings and scriptures were spread by Buddhist monks and scholars as they journeyed from Gandhara to other Buddhist centres.

  • Artistic Legacy:

Asian Buddhist art in the later centuries was influenced by Gandharan art.

Friezes, architectural elements, and sculptures all exhibit its own style.

Artefacts from the Gandhara region shed light on the blending of civilizations, the evolution of Buddhist art, and the historical background of ancient South Asia.

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