US Returns Artefacts Worth Millions of Dollars Stolen by Indian Smuggler to Pakistan

The United States (US) returned 187 artifacts to Pakistan, which were recovered from the apprehended Indian-American art smuggler, Subhash Kapoor, the Manhatten District Attorney (DA), Alvin Bragg, revealed on Thursday.

The DA revealed that these artifacts are a part of the total 192 stolen items worth almost $3.4 million in total.

A Gandhara statue showing Maitreya, the enlightened Buddha, and Mehrgarh figurines dating from roughly 3500-2600 BC that were plundered from a Neolithic archaeological site in Pakistan are among the artifacts returned.

Kapoor was condemned to a 13-year jail sentence in India last week, for stealing antique religious idols and smuggling them to his Manhattan art museum.

Kapoor was also being pursued by American police, as a part of ‘Operation Hidden Idol’, a large US federal investigation.

In 2020, New York’s Manhattan DA Office charged him and demanded his deportation from India.

The smuggled pieces were sold by Kapoor at his Madison Avenue gallery, ‘Art of the Past’.

Bragg’s office disclosed that, since 2011, it has discovered over 2,500 antiquities worth roughly $143 million which were smuggled by Kapoor and his colleagues.

Australia returned 13 artifacts, connected to Kapoor, to India in March.

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