Kapoor Files- Art of the Loot Part 13- the plight of the abandoned Toledo Ganesha

If ever there is a term for heights of negligence – this would be it !! No further proof is required for the utter disregard for our great Nation’s cultural treasures by the so called Custodians. We had broken the news of the Sripuranthan stolen Ganesha currently in the Toledo Museum previously.

Earlier today we also brought out the other dubious exhibit – Pala dynasty Varaha

But now we have a statement from the Museum

Subhash Kapoor Acquisitions Under Review

Subhash Kapoor, a second generation antiquities dealer and owner of Art of the Past Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York City, was arrested in Germany on Oct. 30, 2011 and extradited to India on July 14, 2012 to face charges of illegal exportation, criminal conspiracy and forgery. Art of the Past was in business for 35 years, selling Asian antiquities to a large roster of Museum clients, including the Toledo Museum of Art.

The Toledo Museum of Art, like many museums across the country, acquired objects from Mr. Kapoor in the period from 2001-2010. The most significant of the eight acquired by the Toledo Museum of Art from Mr. Kapoor is a Ganesha figure. After the 2006 Ganesha purchase, Mr. Kapoor gifted 56 small terracotta idols to the Museum. The purchased items have been on public display. The gifted items have never been on public display.

On July 18, 2013 the Museum received a copy of an Indian police report that includes photographs of 18 metal idols stolen from Sripuranthan Village in Tamil Nadu. One of the images of a Ganesha figure closely resembles the Ganesha purchased by the Museum in 2006 from Art of the Past. At the time of purchase consideration, the Museum received a provenance affidavit and the curator personally spoke to the listed previous owner. The object was also run through the Art Loss Registry with no issues detected.

On July 24, 2013 TMA Director Brian Kennedy sent a letter to the Consulate General of India in New York, Mr. Sugandh Rajaram, requesting his assistance in researching the Ganesha’s provenance with Indian officials. To date, the Museum has received no response. On February 17, 2014 a letter was sent to Dr. S. Jaishanka, Ambassador of India to the United States, soliciting his assistance. The Museum has not been contacted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement or any other U.S. or foreign government agency in regards to this object and others the Museum purchased from Art of the Past or gifted by Mr. Kapoor.”

The statement also gives the copies of the letters sent by the Museum to the Consulate General of India New York on July 24 !!! which they did not receive any RESPONSE

They followed up with a letter to the Ambassador of India, Washington DC on Feb 14th

It is beyond doubt that we are talking of the same bronze

The Photos in original resolution ( captured by the IFP Pondicherry team in 1994) have been with the Indian Police since 2009 !! How long does it take for the wheels of our official Machinery to move? Or have they decided to abandon the Ganesha as they did with the Sivapuram Somaskanda.

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