Srinagar: At least 90 artefacts of Jammu Kashmir origin have gone missing from the erstwhile state, records reveal. Some of these include 81 sculptures, 5 paintings, 5 pages of a manuscript, 2 Kashmir carpet antiquities and one page of calligraphy.
The records reveal that there are no details available about when they were moved out from Jammu and Kashmir and smuggled to other parts of the world.
Media reports said that some of the stolen artifacts from Jammu and Kashmir were displayed recently at New York’s Metropolitan Museum.
Several FIRs lodged with regard to missing artefacts in Jammu and Kashmir are gathering dust with some of these cases closed as “not traced”.
According to RTI records obtained from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), 11 floral tiles from Harwan Srinagar were reported missing in 1998 and a Gandharva figurine sculpture was reported missing from the Fatehgarh temple in Baramulla in 2008.
A miniature painting of Shah-i-Hamdaan (RA) was reported stolen on September 27, 1969. Since then there is no trace of that rare miniature.
Besides, a copy of the Holy Quran with the stamp of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb has been reported missing since September 11, 2003. Records show that an FIR was registered and the case transferred to J&K Police’s Crime Branch — a separate case was registered by the CBI as well. All these cases were later closed as “not traced”.
According to J&K’s Directorate of Antiquities, Archives and Museums, the list of missing idols and sculptures includes: “Seated Buddha” (wood), “Standing Tara” (bronze), “Jain Tirthankar” (brass) and “Buddha”. Their records show that these antiquities were stolen on August 10, 1973 and that in April 1975, the case was tagged as “not traced” and closed.
Records show artefacts missing from Ladakh, too: “22 gold copper statute and two stupas made of crystal and elephant teeth” were reported stolen from Zanskar Gonpa in the year of 1998.” This case was also closed as “not traced”. [KNT]
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