Seized Kapoor treasures include a large number of Cambodian and Thai artefacts

The treasure trove of disgraced antiques dealer Subhash Kapoor was seized by the authorities in New York and the list of antiquities recovered were made public. Among them are a number of Cambodian and Thai artefacts, amounting to millions of dollars in value.

New York Authorities Seek Custody of Stolen Artifacts Worth Over $100 Million
New York Times, 14 April 2015

Major US Seizure Included Cambodian Artifacts
Cambodia Daily, 16 April 2015

At least $3 million worth of Cambodian artifacts are part of a massive cache of smuggled antiquities that have been seized by New York authorities after being smuggled into the U.S. by an art dealer, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

After a two-yearlong investigation into the assets of New York City art dealer Subhash Kapoor, the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Tuesday asked a judge for permission to take custody of 2,622 relics worth more than $100 million that were stolen from various Asian countries, the Times reported.

The relics were confiscated from six of the art dealer’s galleries and storage spaces in a series of raids that began in 2012 known as “Operation Hidden Idol.” Altogether, the pieces uncovered during the raids represent the largest art seizure in U.S. history, according to the Times.

The cache includes several major Cambodian artifacts, including a $1.2-million Naga statue found in Mr. Kapoor’s Art of the Past gallery on Madison Avenue in Manhattan, according to court documents released by the newspaper.

Full stories here and here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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