US museum in New York city to return 15 sculptures to India


The sculptures date back as far as first century BCE

Our Bureau

New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in United States’ New York City, has announced that it will return 15 stolen ancient sculptures to the Government of India. This comes after the museum learned that the artworks were illegally trafficked from India.

From Madhya Pradesh’s sandstone Celestial Dancer (Apsara) valued at more than $1 million to West Bengal’s Yakshi Terracotta from, the artifacts range in date from the 1st century BCE to the 11th century CE. The list, which includes terracotta, copper and stone, also features a ceramic pot from Chandraketugarh, a stone bust of Kamadeva, the God of Love, from the second half of the 8th century C.E, a Svetambara enthroned Jina.

The museum said that they will adhere to the responsible purchase of antiquities and has set in place strict standards for new acquisitions and its existing collection. It is currently vetting the details of works acquired from suspicious dealers. Respecting its long association with the Indian government, the Met is pleased to take action in the incident, the note further said.

In October 2022, the US restored 307 archaeological items, worth nearly 4 million dollars stolen by multiple trafficking rings, to India. The items were handed over during a repatriation ceremony at the Indian Consulate in New York attended by India’s Consul General Randhir Jaiswal. All the works were sold by Subhash Kapoor, a convicted Indian American antiquities smuggler. Kapoor was arrested by Interpol in Germany in 2011 and is currently imprisoned in India.

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