The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in United States' New York City, has announced that it will return 15 stolen ancient sculptures to the Government of India.
This comes after the museum learned that the artworks were illegally removed from India.
"All of the works were sold at one point by Subhash Kapoor, a dealer currently serving a prison sentence in India," the Metropolitan Museum of Art said in a statement.
Subhash Kapoor, a notorious smuggler, is currently lodged in a Tamil Nadu jail.
"The Met contacted Homeland Security about its works from Kapoor in 2015 and is pleased to be acting on this matter today as a result of the criminal investigation into Subhash Kapoor by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office," the museum said.
"Through this cooperative partnership, the museum received new information from the Manhattan DA’s office about 15 works of art that made it clear that the works should be transferred, resulting in the constructive resolution," it added.
The sculptures, which range in date from the first century BCE to the 11th century CE, are made of terracotta, copper, and stone.
“The Museum is committed to the responsible acquisition of archaeological art, and applies rigorous provenance standards both to new acquisitions and to works long in its collection. The Museum is actively reviewing the history of antiquities from suspect dealers," it said.
"The Museum values highly its long-standing relationships with the government of India, and is pleased to resolve this matter," it added.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.