Stolen artifacts worth $3.3M returned to Pakistan

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The United States has returned 104 stolen and smuggled antiquities worth approximately $3.3 million to Pakistan. The ceremony was attended by Pakistan Consul General Ayesha Ali and US Homeland Security Investigations personnel.

The recovered art pieces included schist reliquary box, circa 3rd-4th century, valued at $175,000, a gilded schist head of a Bodhisattva, circa 2nd-3rd century, valued at $250,000, and a stucco Bodhisattva, circa 3rd-6th century, valued at around $750,000.

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Pakistan’s Consul General Ayesha Ali expressed hope that the recovered art pieces will be displayed in Pakistani museums soon. She hailed the decision of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security.

The smugglers brought these antiquities to the US after looting from numerous nations, including Pakistan. The antiquities were discovered by the HSI following a thorough investigation.

Earlier in November 2020, the US authorities office had repatriated 45 antiquities to Pakistan that were recovered in 2015 from Nayef Homsi. He is an infamous trafficker involved in the illegal looting, exportation, and sale of ancient art from the South Asian region. The authority has also returned 497 antiquities to 11 countries since August 2020.

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