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On Tuesday, March 4, agents from Homeland Security Investigations raided a Long Island City storage locker belonging to a family member of Subhash Kapoor, a former New York gallery owner accused of smuggling Indian antiquities into the United States. Authorities seized hundreds of Southeast Asian and Indian objects that they valued at $8 million.

Kapoor, a once-established antiquities dealer, ran the Art of the Past Gallery on Madison Avenue from 1974 until his arrest overseas in 2011. In October, Kapoor’s sister was charged with hiding four bronze statues of Hindu deities valued at $14.5 million and in December, Kapoor’s office manager pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal possession of stolen property valued at $35 million.

Kapoor is accused of hiring looters to steal rare bronze and stone sculptures of Hindu deities. U.S. officials claim that he would then illegally import the objects, create false provenances for them, and sell them to collectors and museums. Kapoor is currently awaiting trial in India.    

Published in News
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 18:21

Officials Return Looted Artifacts to India

Federal officials have returned three stolen antiquities estimated to be worth around $1.5 million to the Indian Consulate in New York. The United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations has been working with India to recover dozens of stolen artifacts in recent years.

All three of the works date from the 11th or 12th century and include a sandstone sculpture that had been stolen from an Indian temple in 2009. The 350-pound work, which depicts the deities Vishnu and Lakshmi, had been listed as one of the Interpol’s top 10 stolen artworks. The other recovered artifacts include a 400-pound figurative sculpture and a black sandstone sculpture depicting the male deity Bodhisattva.

A ceremony was held on Tuesday, January 14 at the Consulate.

Published in News