June 18, 2024


Art Shines Through

Homeland Security seizes stolen South Asian artifacts at Yale art gallery

Thirteen artifacts of South Asian origin have been confiscated by Homeland Security officials just after an investigation into the dealings of disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.

William Porayouw

12:34 am, Apr 11, 2022

Personnel Reporter

Tim Tai, Workers Photographer

The Section of Homeland Stability not too long ago seized 13 artifacts from the Yale College Art Gallery, or YUAG, on suspicion they ended up smuggled by a disgraced art seller.

The items, which were being of Indian and South Asian origin, ended up allegedly stolen by art vendor Subhash Kapoor. Kapoor, who was convicted in 2012 for taking antiques from temples in South India as part of a $100 million worldwide smuggling plan, then marketed these stolen artifacts to important art museums across the planet, including the Countrywide Gallery of Australia and the Toledo Museum of Art. Thirteen of these smuggled artifacts finished up in the YUAG, which is identified as the oldest university art gallery in the Western Hemisphere.

“Yale College, acquiring been introduced with information indicating that operates of art in its collections had been stolen from their nations of origin, shipped the operates on March 30, 2022 to the New York District Attorney’s Workplace, which will coordinate the objects’ repatriation later this yr,” a public statement launched by YUAG read through. “Yale was glad to perform cooperatively with the DA’s Business in this significant make any difference.”

Antiques confiscated by the Office of Homeland Stability integrated a 10th-century sandstone statue of Kubera, the Hindu god of prosperity, as well as a marble arch identified as Parikara – valued by investigators at $550,000 and $85,000, respectively. 

According to the University, the New York District Legal professional provided proof that the confiscated artifacts constituted stolen house in February 2022 the proof was gathered as a result of details not readily available in the general public area. By the time College officials ended up notified about the considerations relating to the artifacts, Yale experienced currently carried out exploration into their origins. 

According to Homeland Security, the artifacts had been identified as remaining “connected to either Subhash Kapoor or his abroad suppliers.” The 13 full artifacts have been valued at $1.29 million, with nine of these objects acquiring been donated to the University by the Rubin-Ladd Foundation, which has been connected to Subhash Kapoor’s $143 million art smuggling ring. 

This is not the initially time that Kapoor’s artifacts have been investigated for connections to looting. Again in 2008, Kapoor bought an 11th-century bronze Dancing Shiva statue well worth $5.6 million to the Nationwide Gallery of Australia. The statue was later learned to have allegedly been stolen from an Indian temple positioned in Tamil Nadu.

On March 30, the University voluntarily surrendered the artifacts when the New York District Attorney’s business office served the objects with a lookup and seizure warrant.

“Yale is fully commited to provenance investigation and welcomes data regarding the ownership heritage of objects in its assortment,” a statement by the University administration stated, forwarded by YUAG communications coordinator Janet Sullivan.

The Yale University Artwork Gallery was recognized in 1832.


William Porayouw addresses worldwide affairs at Yale and serves on the YDN business enterprise team. At first from Southern California, he is a 1st-yr in Davenport Faculty majoring in ethics, politics and economics.