Australia to return two rare artifacts stolen from Hyderabad

Hyderabad: National Gallery of Australia (NGA) is set to return the collection of 14 artifacts to India. Two of them i.e., a brass Alam and the original photograph of Maharaja Kishen Pershad belong to erstwhile Hyderabad.

The NGA dates the Alam to 1851 CE. However, experts and Shia scholars date it to early 16th century, TOI reported.

Based on the work and design of the Alam, the custodian of Badashahi Ashoorkhana Mir Murtuza Ali Moosvi said that it must have been made in the early 16th century. It belongs to Vijayanagar Empire, he said.

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The alam which was installed in Aza Khana Zehra by Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan in 1956 was stolen on April 11, 2003, DC reported.

Welcoming the decision of the Australian government to return the artifact, managing trustee of the Deccan Heritage Trust Dr. Safiullah urged the state government to bring back the alam to Hyderabad.

Another artifact that is being returned by NGA and belongs to erstwhile Hyderabad is the photograph of Maharaja Kishen Pershad, the prime minister of erstwhile Hyderabad State.

Other artifacts

The other artifacts that are being returned include Painting of Shrinathji, Page from Ragmala series, Yaksha Bhairav, Kali yantra, Young lady with elaborate sari, Shri Lakshman Chand ji before Shri Dursham Ram ji, Krishna and Arjuna, Varaha rescuing the Earth Goddess, Amprous couple, Shiva and Parvati, Baby Krishna on a banyan leaf, Portrait of a gentleman, and Three sculptures from Tamil Nadu, which include the two bronze sculptures of the child Saint Chandikesvara and dancing Sambandar, along with a sandstone image of Shiva Bhairava.

This is the fourth time the NGA will return antiquities it bought from disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor, who is awaiting trial after being accused of running a smuggling ring for artifacts.

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