Home » Australia To Return 12th Century Art Works Worth $2.2 M That Were Stolen From India

Australia To Return 12th Century Art Works Worth $2.2 M That Were Stolen From India

by Ankita Mohanty

The National Gallery of Australia has informed that it will soon be returning a total of 14 artworks to India, from where it was stolen.

This includes sculptures, photographs and a scroll.

The collection is composed largely of “religious and cultural artefacts” worth a total of about $2.2 million, including some dating back to the 12th century.

The museum, where the art was preserved has confirmed that the artefacts were indeed stolen.

The artworks were acquired by the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) around 1989-2009 by the infamous art dealer Subhash Kapoor.

Kapoor, a former Manhattan art dealer has also been a subject to massive US federal investigation known as Operation Hidden Idol. He is currently awaiting trial and denies all the charges against him.


The National Gallery of Australia has already returned several other works it acquired via Kapoor, including a $5 million bronze statue of the Hindu god Shiva that had been stolen from a Tamil Nadu temple.

Nick Mitzevich, the director of NGA said they have introduced guidelines to assess any legal and ethical issues with works the museum holds, and are currently investigating three other sculptures from their Asian collection.

Many of the antiquities Kapoor dealt in dated back to the 11th and 12th centuries when the Chola dynasty presided over a flourishing of Hindu art in Tamil Nadu.

Since his arrest in 2011, the United States has also returned hundreds of artefacts.

The Indian High Commissioner to Australia, Manpreet Vohra, has been elated by the news.

“The government of India is grateful for this extraordinary act of goodwill and gesture of friendship from Australia,” he said, as quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald. “These are outstanding pieces: their return will be extremely well-received by the government and people of India.”




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