New Delhi: The United Kingdom authorities has handed over 15th-century idols of Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman to India on Tuesday, Minister of Culture Prahlad Singh Patel has confirmed.
Speaking to media, Patel informed that the three idols belong to India and were stolen in 1978 from a temple in Tamil Nadu.
The minister also stated that these idols are from the Vijayanagara empire dating back to 15th century.
Recently, the UK authorities have handed over two similar idols and a pillar.
Patel thanked the UK government and officials working at the Indian High Commission in London for ensuring the return of the ancient idols.
However, only 13 artefacts and antiquities were brought back by the Indian government since independence till 2013, he said.
Earlier in August, the United Kingdom had announced that they would return a 9th-century statue of Lord Shiva which was stolen and smuggled nearly 20 years ago from Ghateshwar Temple, Baroli in Rajasthan.
The rare stone statue was returned to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The statue of Nataraj is also known as Natesha murti and is nearly four feet tall.
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