Thursday, 16 April 2015

Keeping the US Market Clean: Cambodian Antiquities Seized

Surprised anyone? "Major US Seizure Included Cambodian Artifacts" Cambodia Daily April 16, 2015.

“Operation Hidden Idol” reportedly involves several major Cambodian artifacts, such as a "$1.2-million Naga statue found in Mr. Kapoor’s Art of the Past gallery on Madison Avenue in Manhattan", also seized according to court records were:
a group of Cambodian stone figures worth $700,000; two objects identified as “Khmer statues” worth $250,000 and $175,000; a Cambodian “standing figure on pedestal” also worth $175,000; an “elephant w/hat statue” worth $145,000; a “Khmer Vishnu sandstone wall fragment” worth $65,000; and a crowned Buddha worth $45,000; as well as many other Cambodian statues worth tens of thousands of dollars. In some cases, the artifacts are valued in groups; one group worth a total of $7.48 million includes an unspecified number of Cambodian relics. A $5-million “large bronze statue” reported to be from either Cambodia or Thailand was also seized.
Now, all the courts have to do is sort out which ones can be documented as legally acquired and exported so they can be returned to the US market. Those that cannot will be taken off the market and probably sent to the country of origin where this can be determined. Of course any items deemed by government-retained specialists to be inauthentic may go back on the market too.

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