“Subhash Kapoor”

More antiquities returned as museums investigate items bought through art dealer Kapoor

More and more institutions are returning antiquities which has been bought through Manhattan antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor who ran the now defunct gallery Art of the Past for over three decades. Kapoor is now awaiting trial in India on charges of smuggling looted artefacts worth more than $100m. Although he continues to deny everything, his gallery owner Aaron Freedman, pleaded guilty in 2013 in New York Supreme Court to possession of stolen property and is working with federal authorities, who have confiscated more than 2,000 objects from storerooms that belonged to Kapoor and his associates. To name a few returned, more recently on 19 October 2015, the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore returned an 11th century bronze sculpture of the Hindu goddess Uma Parameshvari which was bought for $650,000 from the dealer in 2007. This sculpture has been identified as one of the 150 artefacts that Freedman identified as looted in the New York Supreme Court documents and then sold on to institutions. On 5 October, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally returned a 10th century statue of the Hindu goddess Durga that had been on display in the Linden Museum in Stuttgart and was sold for...

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India asks Australia to return two stolen Hindu statues

New Delhi, 1 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Indian government has made a formal request to Australia to return two ancient Hindu statues that were allegedly looted from temples. The works in question are currently in the possession of the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra) and the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), and were purchased from disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor. Kapoor is awaiting trial in Chennai, where it is to be decided whether or not he was behind the multi-million dollar looting of artefacts from temples in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The National Gallery of Australia has already filed a lawsuit against Kapoor, who purchased the statue depicting the Hindu god Shiva for $5 million in 2008. Both museums have removed the works concerned from public display. The request from the Indian government coincided with the news that Kapoor’s former office manager for his Art of the Past dealership in New York, Aaron M. Freeman, had pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal possession of stolen property in New York’s Supreme...

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Indian sculptures worth $5m seized in New York

New York, 11 December 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). Five looted Indian sculptures were seized in Port Newark, New York, by agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The authorities claim thet they were most probably stolen from a temple in Tamil Nadu (South India) by antique dealer and smuggler, Subhash Kapoor. Among the five sculptures seized is a statue of Parvati estimated at $2.5m. Though it was listed in the stolen works of art database of Interpol, the sculpture passed through the hands of six dealers before being traced, notably thanks to false documents. The authorities did not yet determine if the dealers and past owners were aware of the origin of the statues. Indian and American governments, Homeland Security Investigations as well as Interpol cooperated in order to track down the stolen objects. As for Subhash Kapoor, he is facing legal prosecution in India to where he was extradited last July. Under the yoke of international arrestation order he was stopped at the Frankfurt airport in Germany. Special agent James T. Haye Jr. in charge of HSI in New York stated that “Kapoor is one of the most prolific commodities smugglers in the world today”. He is responsible of stealing more than $100m worth of Indian artifacts. Now it depends on the art world to discover the pieces looted by Kapoor. He was indeed known for selling and donating artworks to the museums, notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum of Pasadena or the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington. Moreover, the Metropolitan Museum of Art owns 81 objects delivered by the smuggler, including 5 imitations. Seizing stolen cultural commodities depends entirely on art...

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New York antique dealer suspected of trafficking antiquities

New York, 9 May 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). Subhash Kapoor, a gallery owner and antique dealer from Uttar Pradesh in India currently living in New York, is suspected by police the of Kerala state in southern India of being the head of a trafficking network dealing in Indian antiquities. According to an article that appeared on the website of the Indian Times, Subhash Kappor was arrested in Germany in October 2011 after Interpol issued an international arrest warrant at the request of the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He has become increasingly implicated in several dozen thefts carried out in at least three Indian states since 2006, and notably in that of an idol of Shiva, created in emerald, at the temple of Sringeri Mutt, in Kalady, Kerala. The import-export company Nimbus Import Inc. , founded by Kapoor in New York, is currently suspected of being a platform for the sale of stolen antiquities to collectors, museums and the art market, chiefly from South East Asia. According to the article, it was the arrest of a man named Sanjivi Asokan, part of the investigation into the theft of the emerald idol, that led to the investigation into Subhash Kappor. The state police of Tamil Nadu have essentially discovered that Asokon received large sums of money from Kapoor for the sending of various parcels from the port of Chennai to the United States. The trail to Shubhash Kapoor was consequently discovered. The authorities of the various Indian states concerned plans to initiate the process of extraditing the suspect from...

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