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Australian gallery sues Indian dealer over stolen statue

Published on Feb 13, 2014 12:25 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's national art gallery said on Thursday it is suing a New York-based art and antiquities dealer over a Shiva statue stolen from an ancient Indian temple for which it paid US$5 million (S$6.32 million).

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) confirmed it is taking Subhash Kapoor, his firm Art of the Past, and former manager Aaron Freedman to New York's Supreme Court over the 2008 purchase of the Shiva as Lord of the Dance (Nataraja), a bronze statue dating from the 11th-12th century Chola dynasty.

According to the NGA's affidavit, filed in the US last week, Kapoor and his company "fraudulently induced" the Canberra-based gallery to buy the statue through forged certifications about its provenance and history.

Kapoor claimed the statue had been sold to him by the wife of a diplomat.

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