Bangladesh Culture Minister steps down over theft of Vishnus idols

December 27th, 2007 - 12:24 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, Dec 27 (ANI): Bangladesh Cultural Affairs Minister Ayub Qadri has stepped down, owing responsibility for the theft of two 1,500-year-old terracotta statues of the Hindu deity Vishnu.
Qadri submitted his resignation to President Iajuddin Ahmed, days after the statues disappeared from the capital’s Zia International Airport while en route to Paris.
The President’s Secretary, Sirajul Islam, told a foreign news agency that he was unaware of Qadris resignation.
Qadri was heavily criticised for his handling of the artefacts, which were among 188 rare items to be shipped to the Guimet Museum in Paris for an exhibition early next year on Bangladesh culture and history.
The cabinet decided at a special meeting to cancel the exhibition in the light of the apparent theft.
The first consignment of 42 items was sent to Paris on December 1.
Police have launched a nationwide hunt for the thieves and sought help from Interpol to retrieve the stolen relics after detaining 15 people in connection with the case, The News reported. (ANI)

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