Boost to Australia India relations: These artifacts include six bronze or stone sculptures, a brass processional standard, a painted scroll, and six photographs worth about $2.2 million
The National Gallery of Australia, in what can be considered one the single largest repatriation of art, has decided to return 14 artefacts of cultural significance to the Indian government. The 14 artefacts being repatriated includes six bronze or stone sculptures, a brass processional standard, a painted scroll, and six photographs. The stolen collection Australia returning India is worth about $2.2 million (about Rs 16.34 crore). Some of them date back to the 12th Century.
The artworks, which are part of the gallery’s Asian collection, includes one object acquired from an art dealer named William Wolff and 13 objects connected to the notorious artefact smuggler Subhash Kapoor, who at the moment is awaiting trial as he is accused of running a global smuggling ring for artefacts through his “Art of the Past” gallery, informed the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
- It is the largest collection at the NGA to be repatriated and includes sculptures, photos and a scroll
- Mr. Kapoor is awaiting trial after being accused of running a global smuggling ring for artefacts
- The gallery said it is working through its collection to make sure other items are not stolen
The announcement means the saga which enveloped the NGA over Mr. Kapoor and allegedly looted antiquities may finally be drawing to a close. The NGA spent $10.7 million on 22 works from Mr. Kapoor’s “Art of the Past” gallery over several years, including a stunning 11th century Chola bronze sculpture, Shiva Nataraja, which the NGA purchased for more than $5 million in 2008.
When Indian police arrested Mr. Kapoor in 2012 they listed the Dancing Shiva as one of the stolen items, and it soon became clear the sculpture had been ripped out of a temple in southern India. The gallery is still investigating other items in its collections to ensure none have been stolen or illegally acquired. The gallery is still trying to recover the money it paid to Mr. Kapoor.
Source Links : Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
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