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Glasgow museum returns art objects to India seized in the late 1800s

Friday, August 19th 2022 - 20:42 UTC
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Friday's was an “important stage for Glasgow,” said Duncan Donran on behalf of the museum Friday's was an “important stage for Glasgow,” said Duncan Donran on behalf of the museum

The Glasgow Life agency, managers of the city's museum, issued a statement announcing a delegation from India's government had been welcomed Friday for the returning to that country of a set of works of arts seized in the late 1800s by British colonial authorities.

The measure is part of a policy adopted by several countries after different nations subjected to colonialism in the 19th century demanded the return of these items, a trend that has been reinforced by the emergence of movements against racism.

The seven antiquities the Glasgow museum handed over to India had been looted from sacred sites such as temples and donated to the collections of the city's museums. Six of the objects had been stolen in northern India in the 1800s and another, a ceremonial sword from around the 14th century, was bought illegally after it was stolen from its owners, AFP reported.

The move by the Glasgow museum follows a decision to return objects to their sites of origin. In addition to the seven pieces given back to India, it also returned 19 bronzes from the ancient kingdom of Benin and 25 other items - mainly ceremonial objects - from the Cheyenne River and Oglala Sioux tribes of South Dakota, United States.

Friday's return “marks an important stage for Glasgow” to ensure that “the rightful owners” have these works back, said Duncan Donran, head of museums and collections at Glasgow Life, as per the institution's statement.

“These objects are part of our legacy as a civilization and will now be resent to their countries of origin,” said the acting head of the Indian diplomatic mission in the United Kingdom, Sujit Ghosh, who thanked “all those who made this possible,” including the city of Glasgow.

France returned 26 items last year to Benin. They had been taken from the Abomey palace during the colonial war of the 19th century.


Categories: International.

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