Authorities on Thursday seized 13 Indian artworks from Yale University that they suspect were looted, reports the New York Times.
This is part of an investigation into Subhash Kapoor, a former art dealer suspected of being an antiquities smuggler.
Art.net Reports Homeland Security agents seized works with a total value of $1.29 million. Kapoor is believed to be part of a $143 million smuggling ring.
“Yale University, having received information indicating that works of art from its collections were stolen in their home country, delivered the works on March 30, 2022 to the New York District Attorney’s Office, which will coordinate the repatriation of the objects later this year,” the university said in a declaration. “Yale was pleased to work cooperatively with the DA’s office in this important case.”
Kapoor is currently serving a sentence in India for the theft and trafficking of over 2,500 South Asian artifacts. Authorities hope to seek his extradition to the United States on similar charges.
According to the Times, the Ruben Ladd Foundation donated nine of the items seized. Authorities say two of the items were stolen from temples.
Vijay Kumar of the Indian Pride Project criticized Yale for not asking more questions before receiving the parts.
“How can you buy or keep Indian art for so long without full provenance and when you know about Kapoor and the history of theft in India,” he said.
“We hope other states will take this seriously by prosecuting the perpetrators, as Kapoor’s suppliers are still very active, looting and smuggling our antiquities,” Kumar told the India time.
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