Antiques stolen from Balochistan recovered by Italian police

Italian police have recovered antique Pakistani artifacts stolen from an archaeological site of Mehargarh, Balochistan government said today.

Karachi: Italian police have recovered antique Pakistani artifacts stolen from an archaeological site of Mehargarh, Balochistan government said today.

The provincial government in a statement said the antiques had been stolen from Mehrgarh, which is located in Bolan district and has a 8000 years old history of civilisation.

The government would soon contact the Pakistan embassy in Rome in order to get the antiques back to Baluchistan, the statement added.

However, the statement did not give any details of the antiques or their exact value but they are said to be thousands of years old and highly sought after in the international market due to their rarity.

A prominent local historian, Noor Khan Hassani who based in Quetta said that the Balochistan government was fortunate the Italian police had recovered the antiques.

"Because honestly speaking there are not steps taken nor is there any mechanism in place to protect many antiques and artifacts present in the province dating back to hundreds and thousands of years back," he said.

Hassani said that in the past also antiques and artifacts were stolen from the province as it was a lucrative business in the international black market for such rare antiques and artifacts.

Mehargarh, is one of the most important Neolithic (6500 BCE to c 2500 BCE) sites in archaeology, according to UNESCO.

French archaeologists after excavations in Mehrgarh some years back had confirmed that the site represents a highly developed civilisation that existed there until around 8,000 years ago and its associated sites provided irrevocable evidence of links to the Indus civilisation. 

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