US Authorities return stolen antiquities worth $3.3 million to Pakistan

These antiques were smuggled to the United States by New York-based art thief Subhash Kapoor.

Homeland-Security-Logo slide | U.S. Embassy in UkraineThe United States of America (USA) has returned 104 stolen antiquities worth around $3.3 million to Pakistan.

The antiques’ repatriation ceremony was attended by the Pakistani Consul General in New York, Ayesha Ali, and the Acting Deputy Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Stephen Lee, on Wednesday.

The items repatriated to Pakistan include a schist reliquary casket from 3-4 A.D., a gilded schist head of a Bodhisattva from 2-3 A.D., and a stucco Bodhisattva from 3-6 A.D.

These items were valued at $175,000, 250,000, and $750,000, respectively.

During the repatriation ceremony, the District Attorney of New York County, Cyrus Vance Jr., remarked that the return of these “magnificent collection of artifacts” back to Pakistan represents the country’s “rich cultural heritage and humanity’s never-ending quest for enlightenment and peace.”

The Special Agent in Charge of HSI New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, stated that there is immense “joy and satisfaction” when the stolen artifacts return to their home country.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Consul General Ayesha Ali expressed her gratitude to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security for recovering these stolen artifacts.

She added that these artifacts would soon be displayed in the South Asian country’s museums.

(ICE photo)

It is pertinent to note that these antiques were smuggled to the United States by New York-based art thief Subhash Kapoor, who is currently serving a prison sentence for allegedly operating a $100 million worldwide smuggling racket.

The HSI conducted a detailed investigation and recovered thousands of antiquities smuggled to the U.S. by Kapoor.

Apart from Pakistan, Kapoor stole ancient art from Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and other countries.


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