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This picture shows a police official inspecting seized ancient statues. — File photo/AFP
This picture shows a police official inspecting seized ancient statues. — File photo/AFP

QUETTA: Italian police has recovered from Rome antiques stolen from Balochistan's Mehrgarh area, said a statement issued by the provincial government.

Mehrgarh, which is located in Bolan district, has a history of civilisation that goes back to thousands of years.

The Balochistan government said late on Tuesday that the Italian police had on Monday recovered the antiques from Rome, which were stolen from Mehrgarh.

The government did not give details about any arrests in relation to the theft or the value of the antiques. The recovered antiques are said to be thousands of years old and are considered highly valuable in the international market, the statement said.

Also read: History smuggled out

Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch expressed pleasure over the recovery of the antiques and directed Secretary Archives to contact the Pakistani embassy in Rome for an immediate return of the antiques.

Prominent local historian Noor Khan Mohammad Hassani told Dawn that there was no mechanism in place to guard antiques in Balochistan.

"People have stolen artifacts and material that represents our history, our identity," Hassani said, adding that certain people were stealing antiquities from Balochistan to sell them in the international market.

Mehrgarh is regarded as among the oldest civilisations across the globe, with historians saying it could be at least eight thousand years old.

Explore: 8,000-year-old civilization in Mehrgarh proved

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Comments (30) Closed

Civi varghese Oct 29, 2014 01:11pm

These should be kept in Rome.If you bring back it will be ruined by fanatics.

Indian Christian Oct 29, 2014 01:18pm

Now the Italian Government will put these antiques in auction and will earn great money. Same happened with Mahatma Gandhi's spectacles some years ago. These Europeans have robbed many things from the subcontinent and now putting it all in auction.

ALi Oct 29, 2014 01:28pm

Gracias Italian police!

bilal Oct 29, 2014 01:34pm

And once again, instead of taking measures to protect the sites, the CM only expressed his pleasure.

Roshan Oct 29, 2014 01:37pm

HE Chief Minister of Balochistan! Please arrange to bring back these priceless national assets to Pakistan, on priority basis

None Oct 29, 2014 01:53pm

More shame for Pakistan.

mohamad Oct 29, 2014 01:58pm

and this oldest civilization of Baloochistan was Hindu, Indian you all know that

Neutral Oct 29, 2014 02:07pm

@ALi Gracias is Spainsh.... Grazie is Italian

rehan Oct 29, 2014 02:09pm

@Civi varghese Agreed

Ali Oct 29, 2014 02:15pm

@None Shame u dnt even have a name

Salim Oct 29, 2014 02:45pm

"Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch expressed pleasure over the recovery" But not sorry, they got smuggled!

Sreenath Oct 29, 2014 03:10pm

I feel these recovered antiques are more safe at Rome itself, if the Historians are concerned about the safety of these antiques they are better to recommend them to be stationed at Rome itself or at least consider to shift them to India who really feel proud the 8 thousand years of Civilization. Else these antiques are sure to be either damaged or further illegally traded by those who never felt proud of the past.

Amit Oct 29, 2014 03:29pm

These Statues should be returned to India for safe and proper preservation. I am afraid that these relics could face the same fate as of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, if were returned back to Pakistan. I still remember how the Buddha statue of Bamiyan was blown away by Taliban militants

Ahsan Oct 29, 2014 03:39pm

Alas! If only we value our antiques as others do.

Adnan A Oct 29, 2014 03:39pm

This obviously happened with the knowledge of some one influential within ruling government who was benefiting from the smuggling.

Moiz Omar Oct 29, 2014 03:57pm

These need to brought back to Pakistan immediately. They are a part of our Pakistani heritage.

Ahmed Oct 29, 2014 04:12pm

Is there any area where nation is getting better ??

Quetta wala Oct 29, 2014 04:21pm

Some higher ups in the govt are culpable in this theft. Also in how it got transported to Italy

BK Oct 29, 2014 04:42pm

Buddha statues of Taxila already spoiled by reconstructing by unskilled people during this month. Because they don't understand and value it. The fate of all antiques are going the same way. It is better to preserve by the country those value it.

S K Sahoo Oct 29, 2014 04:43pm

Do the Pakistanis feel proud of their 8000 years of ancient civilisation ? Or they HATE their past ancestors ?

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Oct 29, 2014 06:19pm

What a tragedy? Everybody is up to sell everything. Wake up please wake up otherwise history will neither forgive nor forget.

Ravidarshan Oct 29, 2014 06:42pm

"People have stolen artifacts and material that represents our history, our identity," historian Noor Khan Mohammad Hassani said======Our History - Our Identity - Believe it or not - That is the HINDUTWA - not Hindustan or Pakistan.

ahmed Oct 29, 2014 06:52pm

all hindu and buddhist artefacts.shame on pak

Shan Kazmi Oct 29, 2014 10:16pm

@Amit , As per international law these antiques belong to the area where they were excavated from. Unless you take full control over Baluchistan you cannot claim the custody thereof.

There have been much more antique sculptures sold out by Indian people to Europe and America, which could not have been returned till today. When you could not guard your own heritage how can you claim the things belongs to others?

The sculptures are returned and now in safe custody of Pakistan.

Izzah Oct 30, 2014 08:26am

@S K Sahoo No we neither hate our history nor heritage. There could be no generalization in this regard. There was a group of Talibans who ruined all that, we are also Muslims but we condemn that act. Please dont make it India/ Pakistan or HIndu/ Muslim issue. We all have enough of this till today, this is the fact that not all the Hindus are good or all Muslims are bad vis a vis. Corruption is everywhere and we need to focus to eliminate that.

Nasir Oct 30, 2014 10:08am

These should be recovered! there might be an international forum which may help to recover these because we know our history through our written past which is some 5000 years old but through Archaeology we can know the history of human which is past some in millions of years. But every archaeologist who comes in our area is not a professional among them majority who comes from international world are thieves . They are not interested to know the people civilization theirs only interest is how to steal them and sell them out in the international markets. Here in Turbat Puno Fort was excavated but where are those materials and why not those were displayed for public this is still a question of the People of Kech which is not answered yet.

Habib Oct 31, 2014 10:42am

Does Baluchistan have any museum?

Sarah rafi Muneer Nov 01, 2014 01:50am

@Habib how sad is this that for money the heritage of Pakistan is up for sale , certainly they have no patriotism , no love for their country , yet they call themselves Pakistanis

Helga Ahmad Nov 02, 2014 09:08am

The figures in the picture relate to Gandhara art, Mehrgar was known for its amazingly fine clay poetry.

Helga Ahmad Nov 02, 2014 09:10am

The picture display stolen gandhara pieces. Mehrgar was known for its exquisite clay work