The Ultimate Temple Raider?: Inside an Antiquities-Smuggling Operation

27 Jul 2015 8:26 AM | Anonymous

The Ultimate Temple Raider?: Inside an Antiquities-Smuggling Operation


The 30 or so guests enjoying spring rolls and white wine were gathered in a small third-floor gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate Subhash Kapoor, a convivial Manhattan art dealer who had donated 58 miniature drawings of Indian aristocrats, deities and beasts.

On this spring evening in 2009, Mr. Kapoor, 60, owner of Art of the Past on Madison Avenue, stood atop the Indian art world. After his 35 years in business, museums and collectors were paying seven figures for his Hindu, Buddhist and South Asian antiquities. A 900-year-old dancing Shiva went to the National Gallery of Australia, a thousand-year-old bronze Ganesha to the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Now, he was being toasted by the Met for a gift of artworks from his homeland.

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