2622 artifacts worth Rs. 674 crores looted from India and parts of South Asia were seized by New York Police Department, is the largest seizure recorded in American History. The recovered articles are stone and bronze statues of Indian divine being and many being precious masterpieces. All these were smuggled into US by Subhash Kapoor who is an art dealer at Madison Avenue.
Kapoor was booked under the charges of pillaging archaeological sites and smuggling. During the raids that began in 2012 these antiques were recovered. This Operation extends to 4 continents and Indian officials joined in this operation named Hidden Idol.
Officials also hope to prosecute Kapoor, a citizen of America on extradition from Indian trial. Recovery and returning these valuables to the respected countries where it belonged was the main aim of the officers involved in this case.
Art of Past, Kapoor’s gallery sold numerous objects to American museum and collectors who claims to be innocent. “At the present time we are at a distinct disadvantage because he is in an Indian jail and all the facts in this matter are known to him,” said Kapoor’s lawyer.
Nearly 500 of such pieces were donated or sold by Kapoor in 18 museums as identified by the Federal officers.
Following an investigation, Honolulu Museum of Arts returned 7 antique pieces which appears to be stolen from temples and ancient Buddhist sites. 19th century Tanjore portrait is being returned by the Peabody Essex Museum that bought this masterpiece from Kapoor in 2006.
On the other hand, Kapoor’s sister had been charged for receiving and keeping ancient bronze statues that were gone missing.