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UAE and Belgium to return 2 Andhra Pradesh artefacts

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is in the process of retrieving two Andhra-origin artefacts - a limestone pillar depicting the dharmachakra and part of a stone pillar from the UAE and Belgium. Out of three artefacts of AP retrieved from foreign countries in five years, only one has reached Andhra Pradesh. A metal Bahubali image of AP origin which was voluntarily returned by the United States is kept with the Prime Minister's office, according to ministry of state for culture and tourism Prahlad Singh Patel. A stone sculpture with a panel of Bddha devotees of AP origin was voluntarily returned by Australia in 2016 and it has been kept at the National Museum in Delhi. A Bodhisattva head of AP origin was voluntarily returned by the USA in 2018 and it is now put up at Nagarjuna Konda Museum in Guntur. Historian E Siva Nagi Reddy told TOI: "Several Buddhist structures from Amaravati are lying in the museums across the world, including London. When the chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu met the British government officials, he urged them to return our artefacts. The UK refused to return saying that if it starts returning, their museums will be emptied."