Since the time the Modi government came to power, 24 ancient items that include ancient sculptures of Bahubali and Natraj, metallic statue of Shri Devi from the era of Chaul dynasty and a terracotta sculpture of a woman from the time of the Maurya empire have been brought back to India.
Replying to a Right to Information appeal of a journalist, the Archaeological Survey of India has revealed that out of these 24 ancient items, 16 have been brought back from America, 5 from Australia, and one each from Canada, Germany and Singapore. According to the reply by the ASI, these countries returned the mentioned items between 2014 and 2017 of their own free will. The 16 sculptures brought back from America include the idol of Shri Devi and metallic sculpture of Bahubali belonging to the Chaul dynasty of Tamil Nadu.
ASI, in its reply to the RTI, has, however, not revealed how these items, that represent the priceless heritage of India, were taken from the country. The organization also revealed that there are 13 more historic items that are yet to be brought back from other countries including Switzerland.
In August 2016, The Indian Express had reported that US had handed back 8 antiquities to Narendra Modi during his visit to the US. In April 2015, The Indian Express had reported that Canada had returned a 900-year-old piece of sculpture from Khajuraho to the Prime Minister of India.
According to the ASI, a bronze idol of saint Manikkavacakar, metallic sculptures of Ganesh and Parvati, stone sculptures of Durga and Natraj have also been returned by the USA. Australia has returned idols of Buddha in sitting posture, Natraj and Ardhnareshwar. Idol of Uma Parmeshwari from Singapore, Parrot lady from Canada and Mahishmardni from Germany have been procured by the Modi-led government.
ASI further revealed that sculptures of Brahma and Brahmani have been handed over to the Indian High Commission in London. One sculpture of Lord Vishnu and paintings of Tanjore are yet to be brought back from USA. Similarly, sculptures of Varah and Jain Tirthankara are yet to be procured from Switzerland.
Senior officials of the government have said that administration is emphasizing on resorting to diplomatic channels to bring the ancient items that were stolen from India back to the country.