The Centre is working on bringing back 40 artefacts from abroad, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The Union Minister said of the 40 artefacts that are to be brought back, 16 are from Singapore and Australia each. He said there are 39,000 registered artefacts in the country and this is a continuous process.
DMK MP Kanimozhi said Tamil Nadu has a rich collection of artefacts, especially idols in temples and asked whether the government is taking steps to register them. Does the government have any records of these artefacts, she asked.
Responding to her question, the Union Minister said temples come under trusts and the state is in a better position to take data from them.
Referring to 40 artefacts that are being brought back, Patel said 32 are from Tamil Nadu.
He said there is no data with the Archaeological Survey of India on artefacts/jewels that are still held in museums of foreign countries and ASI is trying to get them back.