US recovers 307 antiques smuggled from India worth $4 million

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US recovers 307 antiques smuggled from India worth $4 million

The US has returned 307 ancient artifacts worth roughly $4 million that were smuggled and stolen from India after a 15-year international investigation. The majority of these artifacts were taken from disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
On Monday, Alvin Bragg, the district attorney for Manhattan, declared that India would receive the repatriation of 307 artifacts worth about $4 million.

Following an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office into Kapoor, “a serial looter who helped trade pieces from Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other countries,” 235 antiquities were taken from this collection.

The US has returned 307 ancient artifacts worth roughly $4 million that were smuggled and stolen from India after a 15-year international investigation. The majority of these artifacts were taken from disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
On Monday, Alvin Bragg, the district attorney for Manhattan, declared that India would receive the repatriation of 307 artifacts worth about $4 million.

Following an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office into Kapoor, “a serial looter who helped trade pieces from Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other countries,” 235 antiquities were taken from this collection.

It originally appeared in images of antiquity in a filthy, before-restoration state.
The statement added that the artwork was smuggled out of India and into New York in May 2002 and that it was given to Kapoor along with hundreds of other images showing antiques lying in the grass or on the ground.

The Nathan Rubin-Ida Ladd Family Foundation received the Arch Parikara from Kapoor and gave it to the Yale University Art Gallery in 2007.
The repatriation “is the result of a globe-spanning, fifteen-year investigation where the investigative team chased leads, followed the money, and ultimately seized these pieces, ensuring their return to the people of India,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Alfonso. Following an investigation into antiquities dealer Nancy Wiener, who had previously pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and possession of the stolen property, five of the artifacts were recovered. Numerous minor trafficking networks have taken India more than 60 antiques.

The repatriation “is the result of a globe-spanning, fifteen-year investigation where the investigative team chased leads, followed the money, and ultimately seized these pieces, ensuring their return to the people of India,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Alfonso. Following an investigation into antiquities dealer Nancy Wiener, who had previously pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and possession of the stolen property, five of the artifacts were recovered. Numerous minor trafficking networks have taken India more than 60 antiques.

The statement also stated that Kapoor and his accomplices had been investigated for the illegal looting, exportation, and sale of artifacts from numerous nations worldwide by the District Attorney’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit and their law enforcement partners at Homeland Security Investigations.

According to the lawsuit, Kapoor and his co-defendants frequently smuggled plundered artifacts into Manhattan and marketed them through their Madison Avenue gallery, Art of the Past. More than 2,500 goods that were trafficked by Kapoor and his network between 2011 and 2022 were found by the DA’s Office and HSI. The retrieved items are worth more than $143 million in total.

The United States returned 157 artifacts and antiques to India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last year trip.

“Committed to strengthening their efforts to prevent the theft, illegal sale, and trafficking of cultural artifacts,” Modi and US President Joe Biden said in a joint statement. A total of 248 artifacts worth an estimated $15 million were returned to India by the US last year.

In November 2019, Kapoor and his seven co-defendants were accused of their role in a conspiracy to sell stolen artifacts. The DA’s Office obtained an arrest order for Kapoor in 2012.

The DA’s Office submitted extradition proceedings in July 2020 for Kapoor, who has been detained in India since 2012 while awaiting the outcome of his ongoing trial. Co-defendants of Kapoor who have already been found guilty include five.

The Vishnu and Lakshmi with Garuda from the 11th century C.E., stolen from a temple in Central India and smuggled into New York County, is one of the artifacts that Wiener is returning.

The Office has already given 13 nations 682 antiques worth over $84 million in 2022 alone. The Antiquities Trafficking Unit has returned over 2,200 artifacts worth over $160 million to 22 countries since its establishment.

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