Buddha stone sculpture from 2/3 CE seized from foreign national at Attari

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) The Customs officials posted at Attari border have nabbed a foreign national and seized an antique stone sculpture of Buddha, believed to be from 2nd or 3rd century.
According to Rahul Nangare, the Commissioner of Customs, Amritsar, a foreign national, who arrived in India through integrated check-post (ICP), Attari, was intercepted and his baggage was examined.
“During examination of his baggage, the officers posted at the passenger terminal of ICP Attari, detected a stone sculpture of Buddha. The sculpture was seized by Customs officers on suspicion of being a prohibited item falling in the category of antiquity,” said Nangare.
“The matter was referred to the office of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Chandigarh circle. The ASI has now given a report confirming that the sculpture fragment appears to be Buddha of the Gandhara School of Art and tentatively dated to 2 or 3 CE. It falls under the category of antiquity under the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972,” the official added.
“Further investigation and necessary action under the relevant Acts is being taken in the matter,” he said.
“In previous such instances of seizures of antiquities, 262 antique coins were seized from a passenger at Attari border in May 2017 and another 65 antique coins were also seized from a passenger at Attari in September 2018,” he added.
“The ASI had stated that these coins belongs to various historical eras, including Maharaja Ranjit Singh period, Indo-Greek coins of Azelizus, square coin of Apollodotus, coins of Akbar, Jahangir and Humayun and coins of British era,” the official said.

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