$1 Million Bronze Idol Stolen from Indian Temple Recovered


NEW YORK – A bronze religious statue from the 11-12th century, stolen from a temple in India and worth $1 million, has been recovered by U.S. customs officials as part of a three-year investigation into former New York-based art dealer Subhash Kapoor.

An anonymous collector of Asian antiquities voluntarily surrendered the stolen Chola bronze statue representing Saint Manikkavichavakar to authorities, according to special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations’ cultural property unit.

The two and a half-foot idol had been looted from the Sivan Temple in Tamil Nadu’s Sripuranthan Village.

Federal authorities formally took custody of the stolen idol on July 1 and estimated that the relic could sell for as much as $1 million if legitimately offered on the market.

Besides, HSI has also recovered at least six other sacred Chola bronzes that it anticipates forfeiting and repatriating to the Indian government.

Read more at www.indiawest.com