US museum to return rare 'stolen' artworks to India

New York, Sept 28: An American art museum will return to India four allegedly stolen rare artworks purchased from disgraced US-based Indian art dealer Subhash Kapoor, who is under probe for running an international smuggling racket.

The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) in the US state of Ohio said it will return the artworks, including a bronze sculpture and carved stone.

US to return rare 'stolen' artwork

TMA will coordinate the return of four objects with US representatives of the Republic of India, the museum said in a statement.

"We look forward to working with the Indian government to return these objects to their rightful home," Director Brian Kennedy said.

The document of four of the objects it purchased from Kapoor, his gallery manager Aaron Freedman and the Art of the Past gallery, were found to be falsified or otherwise could not be authenticated, it said.

For 35 years, Kapoor owned and operated the Art of the Past gallery in Manhattan, which sold Asian antiquities to many museums and private collectors around the world. Kapoor was arrested in Germany in October 2011 and extradited in July 2012 to India, where he is incarcerated awaiting trial.

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The four objects to be returned to India are: a stone stele of Varaha Rescuing the Earth (acquired in 2001); a previously announced return of a nearly 1,000-year-old bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesha described as being from Tamil Nadu (acquired in 2006).

Two more include: an 18th century ornately patterned gold with enamel pandan box, described as being of Mughal origin (acquired in 2008); and Rasikapriya from the Samdehi Ragini, an 18th-century watercolour with gold on paper (acquired in 2010).


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