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    Varanasi Declaration to be Released at G20 Ministerial Meeting on Saturday

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    The G20 Ministerial meeting in Varanasi will release the Varanasi Declaration on Saturday. The declaration will address important issues such as the restitution of cultural properties and their usage. Union Minister for Culture and Tourism, DoNER G Kishan Reddy, and Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi, shared details about the consensus reached among G20 nations, invitee countries, and international organizations like UNESCO.

    The official level sideline meetings of the cultural working group have been completed, and the issues agreed upon will form the Varanasi Declaration. On Saturday, the draft declaration will be finalized by G20 member nations, invitee countries, and international organizations working in the culture sector.

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    Discussions have also taken place regarding points of agreement and differences that arose from previous working group meetings. It is expected that consensus will be reached on several issues during the ministerial level meeting, which will be included in India’s presidency of the G20’s Varanasi Declaration.

    Kishan Reddy highlighted the efforts made to bring back valuable Indian artifacts, with about 450 items already returned to the country. The restitution of cultural properties shipped out of India and found in other countries is an ongoing process, and India is actively engaging with its counterparts to address this issue.

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    The first three working group meetings were held in Khajuraho, Bhubaneswar, and Hampi. All the issues discussed in these meetings were brought to the table in the fourth and final working group meeting. It is a proud moment for Varanasi, known as the cultural capital of India, as the Declaration on Culture is being released from this city.

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    Meenakshi Lekhi emphasized the importance of understanding culture and respecting it rather than just tolerating it. Culture plays a significant role in uniting people and creating a favorable environment for diplomacy.

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