Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Looted Statue Received in Return for Continued Anonymity

As part of 'Operation Hidden Idol',  'ICE HSI partners with major art collector to recover stolen idol from India' 1st July 2015.
An anonymous collector of Asian antiquities voluntarily surrendered a stolen 11-12th century Chola bronze statue representing Saint Manikkavichavakar [...] the object had been looted from the Sivan Temple in Sripuranthan Village in Ariyalur District, Tamil Nadu in India.  [...] when the artifact was purchased in 2006, a false provenance was provided with the piece that had been manufactured to pre-date the idol’s theft.
The collector seems to have been in the New York area, and ICE is treating him or her as "a victim of fraud" because they'd "paid somewhere between $650,000-$750,000 for the statue in 2006, on the basis of a false provenance provided with the piece in a fraudulent attempt to pre-date the idol’s theft". But there is no excuse for the buyer not exercising due diligence to firmly verify that collecting history.

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