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The Rubin Museum of Art opened an installation of Nepalese art today to launch its "Honoring Nepal" programming series, which celebrates the culture of the earthquake-devastated country. The death toll from last month’s disaster is now over 6,800, with 14,000 injured and thousands missing, and the cultural loss of centuries-old temples, shrines, and historic sites that were damaged or destroyed is still being assessed.

The "Honoring Nepal" lobby installation is free and open to the public during museum hours, showcasing 13 artifacts selected from the roughly 600 Nepalese objects in the Rubin’s collections.

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The United States returned Wednesday dozens of ancient artifacts that had been smuggled out of Egypt by an international criminal network, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said.

The items -- including a Greco-Roman style Egyptian sarcophagus discovered in a Brooklyn garage in 2009 -- were handed back to the Egyptian government at a ceremony in Washington.

"To think that some of these treasured artifacts were recovered from garages, exposed to the elements, is unimaginable," said ICE director Sarah Saldana in a statement.

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A $100 million (£68m) trove of Hindu and Buddhist treasures has been recovered during raids on a series of storage lock-ups across New York in the largest antiquities seizure in American history.

The 2,622 artifacts are alleged to have been plundered from ancient sites in South Asia and smuggled into the US for sale to museums and collectors by a Madison Avenue art dealer accused of operating an international smuggling racket.

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An international investigation into antiquities looted from India and smuggled into the United States has taken authorities to the Honolulu Museum of Art.

The museum on Wednesday handed over seven rare artifacts that it acquired without museum officials realizing they were ill-gotten items. Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will take the items back to New York and, from there, eventually return them to the government of India.

U.S. customs agents say the items were taken from religious temples and ancient Buddhist sites, and then allegedly smuggled to the United States by an art dealer. The dealer, Subhash Kapoor, was arrested in 2011 and is awaiting trial in India. Officials say Kapoor created false provenances for the illicit antiquities.

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The British Museum will open a new gallery in 2018 dedicated to a broad swath of Islamic art, the museum announced.

Set in a pair of currently closed galleries in the heart of the museum, the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World will include sections dedicated to Islamic art until around 1500, and to artifacts from three 16th-century Islamic dynasties — the Ottoman, the Mughal and the Safavid. A selection of contemporary artwork will also appear – including works from “The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist,” a series by the American artist Michael Rakowitz in which he recreated artworks looted from the National Museum of Iraq after the American-led invasion of 2003.

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The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Virginia says it has offered to house Iraqi artifacts to protect them from destruction by the Islamic State group.

The foundation says its president, Mitchell Reiss, made the offer to a team of Iraqi archeologists and museum experts who visited earlier this month. Iraqi authorities say the Islamic State group has attacked and destroyed several archaeological sites.

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The crown of the Siamese King offered in 1861 to Napoleon III in the Château de Fontainebleau was stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning, 1 March, along with around 15 other precious artifacts from eastern Asia.

The burglary took place before 6am at the palace 60 kilometers south of Paris. “The thieves were very determined. They knew what they were doing and exactly what they wanted,” the château's president Jean-François Hébert told "The Art Newspaper." The thieves smashed the glass of the display cabinets with chairs and other objects from the Asian collection and, in a crude attempt to cover their tracks, used a fire extinguisher to spread carbonic snow over the site.

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Following the return of two Benin bronzes looted by British troops in 1897, officials in Nigeria have reiterated their call for the British Museum to relinquish its collection of bronzes and return them to their country of origin, the BBC reported.

During a trade mission to Benin in 1897, seven British officials were reportedly killed by the men of the Oba, the King of Benin. In retaliation, the British killed thousands and set the city on fire in what has been described as “the most brutal massacre of the colonial era." Following the attack, the King's palace was looted and more than 2,000 artworks and religious artifacts seized.

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Thursday, 26 February 2015 10:35

Tate Britain Celebrates Victorian Sculpture

Think Victorian sculpture, and our minds immediately jump to Frederic Leighton’s athlete wrestling a python, one of the highlights of the Tate collection. It features in this exhibition and is a good benchmark for what Victorian sculpture was like — visually striking and with all the subtlety of a jewel encrusted pastoral staff, which happens to be another item on display in this show.

The show starts off slowly with medals, coins and busts of Queen Victoria made from different materials, but from then on in there is a selection of some breathtaking artifacts and sculpture.

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The Italian government on Wednesday said police had seized more than 5,000 ancient artifacts in a record 45-million-euro haul after dismantling a Swiss-Italian trafficking ring. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said it was the country's "largest discovery yet" of looted works and consisted of 5,361 pieces, including vases, jewelry, frescoes and bronze statues, all dating from the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD. The archaeological treasures came from illegal digs across Italy and "will be returned to where they were found," the minister told reporters.

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