Fin Min hands over confiscated medieval, ancient artefacts to culture ministry

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New Delhi, Nov 11 (PTI) Confiscated ancient and medieval period artefacts worth Rs 63.90 crore were handed over to Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday.

According to a statement issued by the culture ministry, the 40,282 confiscated coins handed over to Patel by Sitharaman belong to the Sultanate and Mughal era from the period 1206 to 1720 AD, princely states such as Kushana, Yaudheya, Guptas, Pratihar, Cholas, Rajputs, Mughals, Marathas, Kashmir, and also British India, French and certain Australian coins from the period 1800-1900 AD.

The confiscated items also cover 18 antique seals or stamps or religious emblems worn by a person who had the authority given by the ruler to execute royal orders and a silver 'kamarband' (waist band), worn by the women of royal or affluent families.

Some of the artefacts, including the 'kamarband', were seized by the customs department at the Delhi Airport from two foreign nationals, who were travelling to Hong Kong on June 21, 1994. In a follow-up search, the remaining artefacts were seized from a house in the city.

'After the completion of due process of law, Indian Customs requested the Archaeological Survey of India to ascertain the value of these confiscated antiquities/articles and a committee was formed for valuing these items. The committee submitted its report in January/June 2020 and the value of 40,301 antique items was ascertained at Rs 63.90 crore. Further, in terms of Para 17.9 of the Disposal Manual, 2019 issued by CBIC, these confiscated items are being handed over to Archaeological Survey of India by the Department,' the statement from the ministry said. PTI ASG RC