India Shows Disinterest in Getting Back its Precious Artifacts Worth $100 Million: U.S.

BANGALORE: India is well known all over the world for its rich arts and cultural history. Today, many Indian precious artifacts are scattered all over the world. But it is unfortunate to know that the concern authority is not doing enough to get it back to the country.

Most recently, in the case of Subhash Kapoor, who allegedly selling stolen Indian artifacts to museums around the world, seems to bring a new twist to the tale. Despite the U.S. government’s continuous efforts to give back $100 million worth of stolen art back to India, the host nation seems to ignore it, reports Deepak Chitnis of The American Bazaar.

According to a report by Dr. Kirit Mankodi, archaeologist and activist, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has seized about $100 million worth of stolen artifacts from Kapoor’s Art of the Past business in New York. Most of the seized artifacts seem mostly to have originated from religious places around the Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.

A stone sculpture of the Buddha, which originated in the Chola era; sculpture of Bharhut Yakshi estimated at $15 million in value; a sandstone sculpture of the Mahakoka—a bird-like goddess—that was reported stolen in July of 2004 are some of the art pieces that are presently in U.S. custody. However, these artifacts are waiting for responses from the concern authority in India to hand it over to the country it belongs.

Kelly Fritz Garrow, the Director of Communications at the Toledo Museum of Art said, “We have had no contact from the Indian side,” reports AB. “We wrote to the Indian Consulate in New York on July 13 of last year, when we first found out that there may be an issue, but we received no response to that. We wrote another letter recently [to the Embassy], when we put out the information about the items we bought from Kapoor, but once the U.S. government got involved with us, we’ve worked directly with them. We hoped to work directly with the Indian government, but that didn’t happen, so the Justice Department is our primary contact,” Garrow added.

By SiliconIndia  |   Thursday, 01 May 2014, 05:47 Hrs
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