Art News, Artists, Music and more!

In A First, Scotland’s Glasgow Museums Return Stolen Objects To India

In a historic first, the Glasgow Museums in Scotland became the first museum in the United Kingdom to return stolen objects to India.

The ceremony occurred on Friday last week at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It was attended by delegates from the Indian High Commission, who received the seven stolen objects. Of them, six objects were primarily stolen from religious places in northern India. Some of them are estimated to be more than a millennium old. The seventh item was a ‘talwar’, an Indian sword that belonged to the ruler of the former Hyderabad state. It was stolen in 1905 and sold to Sir Archibald Hunter, a general in British Army. All items were given to the Glasgow Museums as a gift.

A carved sandstone, depicting a Hindu god.

The Glasgow Museums is a government entity that comprises 11 museums within Scotland. Thanking the museum, Sujeet Ghosh (acting Indian High Commissioner) said: “These artifacts are an integral part of our civilizational heritage and will now be sent back home.Bailie Annette Christie (Chair, Glasgow Life) said: “[the] “agreement reached with the government of India is another example of Glasgow’s commitment to addressing past wrongs and remaining transparent when explaining how objects arrived in the city’s museum collections.”

Also Read: ICOM Panel Condemns Actions Of Russian Members In Ukraine

During the British Colonial rule in India, which lasted 140 years, widespread cultural artifacts were stolen or removed from the country by British officials. However, in more than seven decades since the UK left India, the repatriation of the stolen cultural objects – many of which are in the British Museum in London – was never on the table. This is why the move by the Glasgow Museums is a historic step. India also celebrated its 75th independence day last week, making the event all the more important.