Thursday, July 23, 2015

Temple-Radiers or how best to smuggle a saint out of India?

By Tom Mashberg and Max Bearak
India is a ripe target: It is home to thousands of remote shrines and archaeological sites with rare Hindu artifacts that sit unguarded.
INDIA---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. What no one in the room knew was that Mr. Kapoor was under investigation on two continents, suspected of running a $100 million art smuggling operation. Their best evidence, they say, is an almost unimaginable 2,622 items, worth $107.6 million, confiscated mostly from storerooms in Manhattan and Queens, and virtually all of it contraband from India. [link]