Recovery from foreign national: Customs seizes antique Buddha sculpture at Attari-Wagah border

Published on Nov 11, 2022 10:21 PM IST

Customs officers posted at Land Customs Station at Attari-Wagah border under the Amritsar Customs Preventive Commissionerate have seized an antique stone sculpture of Buddha

A passenger of foreign nationality, who arrived in India via integrated check-post , Attari was intercepted and his baggage was examined. (Photo:Special arrangement)
A passenger of foreign nationality, who arrived in India via integrated check-post , Attari was intercepted and his baggage was examined. (Photo:Special arrangement)
By, Amritsar

Customs officers posted at Land Customs Station at Attari-Wagah border under the Amritsar Customs Preventive Commissionerate have seized an antique stone sculpture of Buddha from the possession of a foreign national who came from Pakistan side, said officials on Friday.

As per a press release issued here by a spokesperson, a passenger of foreign nationality, who arrived in India via integrated check-post (ICP), Attari was intercepted and his baggage was examined. During examination of his baggage, the Customs officers posted at the passenger terminal of ICP Attari, detected a stone sculpture of Buddha. The sculpture was detained by Customs officers posted at the passenger terminal, ICP Attari on suspicion of being prohibited item falling in category of antiquity.

The matter was referred to the office of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Chandigarh circle. The ASI has now given report confirming that the sculpture fragment appears to be Buddha of the Gandhara School of Art and tentatively datable to 2nd or 3rd Common Era (CE) and falls under the category of antiquity under the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972, reads the release.

They have further informed that the main features of such idol pertaining to Gandhara School of Art are flute hair, face of Buddha shown as crown prince. The idols of Buddha are of black soft stone, which comes from Syatghati and The Gandhara Art is strongly influenced by Greeko- Roman Art

The stone sculpture has been seized under the Customs Act read with Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972 and further investigation and necessary action under the relevant Acts is being taken in the matter. In previous such instances of seizures of antiquities, 262 antiquity coins were seized from a passenger at Land Customs Station, Attari Rail in May 2017 and another 65 antiquity coins were seized from a passenger at Land Customs Station, Attari Rail in September 2018.

The ASI had identified these coins as belonging to various historical eras including, Maharaja Ranjit Singh period, Indo Greek coins of Azelizus, square coin of Appollodotus, coins of Akbar, Jahangir and Humayun and coins of British era with legend Victoria Empress bust. Some of these coins are now displayed in the Dharohar National Museum of Customs and GST at Goa.

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