Shady dealer sold art to AGNSW

06 Aug 2012 11:18 AM | Anonymous
Shady dealer sold art to AGNSW

Source: The Australian

A SECOND prestigious Australian art gallery has confirmed it has artworks in its collection that can be traced to the alleged mastermind of a network of temple-looters operating in India.

The Art Gallery of NSW said it has six Indian artefacts acquired from antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor, who is being held in India on suspicion of trading in stolen precious artefacts.

The gallery's new director, Michael Brand, said yesterday he would review his gallery's acquisition policy.

"I probably will suggest adding a bit of detail; it's very brief at a page and a half," Dr Brand said. "Allegations of theft (are) a serious issue. For a number of reasons, it isn't just the theft of an object; it can be loss of heritage."

The AGNSW works were acquired before Dr Brand, a specialist in Asian art, was appointed.

On Saturday, The Weekend Australian revealed Canberra's National Gallery of Australia had bought 21 items from Mr Kapoor, who has been operating his Manhattan shop Art of the Past since 1974. An NGA spokesman said the gallery "had purchased works from a dealer it -- and 18 other global institutions -- thought was of the highest repute".

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