India Pride Project (IPP): An Initiative to bring back India's lost artefacts

Apr 25, 2016 13:01 IST

The term India Pride Project (IPP) was in news in the fourth week of April 2016. It is an initiative by two NRIs who seek to bring back the lost artefacts to India.

Through the initiative, they seek to answer that India was looted of more artefacts in the post-colonial era than under the British or Mughals.

The India Pride Project is a small, but brave attempt to bring this loot back into the places where they belong in India. In simple terms India Pride Project’s mission is to restore the Nation’s pride through restoring its culture.

Co-founders of IPP
Vijay Kumar: Co-founder of IPP, is an art enthusiast himself and is the general manager of a shipping company.
Anurag Saxena: He is another co-founder, a chartered accountant and Asia-Pacific CEO for the World Education Foundation, UK.

How is the IPP managed?
The IPP is managed by an army of volunteers around the world, which identifies stolen art, traces its route and attempts to restore it back to its rightful place. IPP uses Twitter to spread the message. Recently, its handle #BringOurGodsHome was among the top five trending hash tags.

Success Stories

• Till Date, IPP have successfully identified popular loots such as Shiva Nataraja, Bronze (originally from Bragadeeshwara Temple, Tamil Nadu) on display in National Gallery of Australia.
• They also managed to locate the Shiva Ardhanari statue of Vriddhagireeswarar Temple, Vriddhachalam, Tamil Nadu, at the Art Gallery of South Wales.
• Cases of Bronze Ganesha from Bragadeeshwara Temple, Sripuranthan village, Tamil Nadu and Yakshi, Sand Stone of Satna, Nagod, MP have been handed over to ICE USA for further consideration.

Background

Ancient Indian sculptures, manuscripts, maps and artefacts are stolen and find their way into the international art-markets and are sold off for millions of dollars. The history of India is being illegally smuggled out to private-collectors and museums across the world.

According to certain estimates, around 50000 heritage objects have gone missing from India since independence.

So far, the artefacts that have returned to India have been mostly presented as gifts by other nations.  Among these, is the Sripuranthan Nataraja, returned to India by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

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