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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Authorities Raid Storage Locker Filled with Antiquities

Former antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor. Former antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor.

On Tuesday, March 4, agents from Homeland Security Investigations raided a Long Island City storage locker belonging to a family member of Subhash Kapoor, a former New York gallery owner accused of smuggling Indian antiquities into the United States. Authorities seized hundreds of Southeast Asian and Indian objects that they valued at $8 million.

Kapoor, a once-established antiquities dealer, ran the Art of the Past Gallery on Madison Avenue from 1974 until his arrest overseas in 2011. In October, Kapoor’s sister was charged with hiding four bronze statues of Hindu deities valued at $14.5 million and in December, Kapoor’s office manager pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal possession of stolen property valued at $35 million.

Kapoor is accused of hiring looters to steal rare bronze and stone sculptures of Hindu deities. U.S. officials claim that he would then illegally import the objects, create false provenances for them, and sell them to collectors and museums. Kapoor is currently awaiting trial in India.    

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