The New York Post was present when US Customs raided the storage locker of an Indian art dealer:
An Upper East Side art dealer today was charged with receiving more than $20 million worth of stolen Indian antiquities — as federal authorities raided his Manhattan storage facility and seized a stunning haul of religious artifacts looted from temples.
Subash Chandra Kapoor, 63, owner of the Art of the Past gallery on Madison Avenue, is currently in custody in his native India on a related case of antiquities theft.
He had been arrested on an Interpol warrant in Germany last fall, and was extradited to India two weeks ago.
Kapoor, who has done business on the Upper East Side since 1976, appeared in a court in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.
Today, federal agents from the from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] division of the Homeland Security Department executed a search warrant at the Sofia Storage facility on West 83rd Street, where Kapoor rented several units.
They quickly began pulling out statues and other artifacts that resembled props in an Indiana Jones movie – but are worth more than $20 million, according to authorities.
“There are several dozen pieces. They’re all statutes . . . and they’re worth tens of millions of dollars together,” said a law-enforcement source.
“They’re stunning, absolutely stunning.”
“Statues in bronzes and stone, some are larger than life-sized,” the source said. “Some of them still have dirt on them. Many of them were taken off the sides of temples.”
“There’s a piece that’s a [Hindu god] Shiva that’s easily $3.5 million,” said a law-enforcement source. “They are mostly from Chola 10th Century Indian” period, the source said.