US returns 133 stolen artifacts to Pakistan

The United States (US) returned to Pakistan 133 pieces of stolen antiquities worth over $13 million at a ceremony at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York on Tuesday.

The event marked 5th such transfer to Pakistan from where these precious artifacts, which date back to the Gandhara period, were stolen.

Consul General in New York, Aamer Ahmed Atozai, who received the artifacts on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, expressed gratitude to the District Attorney’s office, its Antiquities Trafficking Unit, and the Department of Homeland Security for their efforts in retrieving the stolen cultural treasures of Pakistan.

 Some of the recovered antiquities were also displayed at the ceremony, and Consul General Atozai said these pieces will adorn museums across Pakistan.

The consul general also signed an agreement with the Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, Matthew Bogdanos, who heads the Antiquities Trafficking Unit for the repatriation of the returned artifacts to Pakistan.

Bogdanos said he was delighted to return these “glorious pieces of Pakistani heritage” to Pakistan whose civilization dates back to 5,000 years.

Earlier in 2022, the United States (US) returned 192 stolen antiquities, valued at nearly $3.4 million, to Pakistan after an investigation into a notorious Indian-American art dealer, Subhash Kapoor, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York announced.

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