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Australia has returned 29 antiques to India in a historic gesture. Lord Shiva and his students, worshipping Shakti, Lord Vishnu and his forms, Jain tradition, portraits and decorative artefacts are among the themes covered by these antiquities.

The antiquities date from various periods, with the earliest dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries CE.

 Sculptures and paintings constructed of a range of materials, including sandstone, marble, bronze, brass, and paper.

 The antiquities are from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and West Bengal, and represent a broad geographical span in India.

 The antiques were viewed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who complimented his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for taking the initiative to return them.

 One of these, Shiva with his pupils, is listed in a government-owned antiquities catalogue as dating from the 9th to 10th centuries CE. The material is sandstone, and Rajasthan is mentioned as the place of origin.

 Over the years, India has brought back a number of artefacts from other countries.

 PM Modi returned from the United States with 157 artefacts and antiquities in September last year, where he and US President Joe Biden pledged to boost efforts to combat cultural object theft, illicit trade, and trafficking.

 Today, PM Modi and Mr Morrison held a virtual summit.

"I'd want to express my gratitude in particular for taking the initiative to return ancient Indian artefacts. Hundreds of years old idols and paintings have been illegally removed from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and other Indian states, among them "Prime Minister Modi stated.