(New York, March 30, 2023)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that it will transfer 15 sculptures for return to the government of India, after having learned that the works 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 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. 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.
The works range in date from the 1st century BCE to the 11th century CE, and include terracotta, copper, and stone.
Commented The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “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. The Museum values highly its long-standing relationships with the government of India, and is pleased to resolve this matter.”
In addition, in cooperation with the DA office’s criminal investigation into Turkish sites Bubon and Perge, the Museum recently removed from display from its Greek and Roman galleries three pieces from Turkey–two of which were loans, and a third is part of The Met’s collection.
March 30, 2023
Contact: Ken Weine, Ann Bailis