The consul general of Nepal in New York received three lost Nepali antiquities from the New York County District Attorney's Office today.

On behalf of the Government of Nepal, Acting Consul General Bishnu Prasad Gautam, and District Attorney of New York County Cyrus Vance Jr signed an agreement establishing the recovery, hand over and repatriation of the antiquities to Nepal.

Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, executive district attorney of New York County, handed over the antiquities to the acting consul general at a ceremony organised by New York County District Attorney's Office on its premises.

The received antiquities include idols of seated Ganesha, seated Buddha and wooden beam depicting a coloured Apsara and will be sent to Nepal soon, said Consulate General of Nepal, New York. Speaking at the ceremony, Gautam expressed gratitude to the United States Department of Homeland Security and its officials, Vance and Illuzzi-Orbon, among others for their hard work. He appreciated their dedication and collaboration in recovering and returning these artefacts to Nepal.

Executive District Attorney Illuzzi-Orbon expressed satisfaction to have been able to recover and handover the lost Nepali antiquities to Nepal. She expressed commitment to work together with the Department of Homeland Security, and all other countries in pursuit of tracking antiquities illegally owned and return to their rightful countries and people. She highlighted that the Antiquities Trafficking Unit of New York District Attorney's Office created by Vance in 2017 with a vision to stop the trade of stolen antiquities from historic sites around the world, has done excellent job in its mandate and helping to restore the antiquities.

These antiquities were recovered by the Department of Homeland Security from a network of international smugglers of antiquities and their associates. New York County District Attorney's Office managed to win the rigorous legal processes before securing the release of these artefacts and handing over to Nepal.

Investigation on the people involved in illegal possession, exportation, and sale of the antiquities is under way.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 3, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.