India stone-faced on US offer to return stolen Buddhist idols

29 Apr 2014 2:47 PM | Anonymous

India stone-faced on US offer to return stolen Buddhist idols

By Kirit Mankodi

T
he US immigration and customs department (ICE/DHS) has seized $100-million worth antiquities from Subhash Kapoor who is undergoing trial in Tamil Nadu for stealing idols from a temple in Ariyalur. These antiquities were allegedly smuggled from many states in India and other Asian countries and recovered in raids on Kapoor's business in New York called Art of the Past.
 
ICE is keen to return the items but has been unable to find a matching interest on the part of Indian authorities. For instance, among the antique pieces, is a Chola-era stone sculpture of Buddha, likely stolen from Tamil Nadu. Another is a Bharhut Yakshi - worth $15 million in the art market and the most expensive item so far found in the Kapoor catalogue -- stolen from a shrine in Madhya Pradesh.
 
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