Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cultural Security News (Jul. 22 - Jul. 28)

India, Nigeria, and ICE
The previous week's news about the arrest and extradition of Subash Chandra Kapoor was followed this past week by a story on ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) recovering Indian antiquities from a storage unit in New York. Kapoor had amassed an estimated $20 million of illicitly exported artifacts with individual pieces having multi-million dollar values. A report indicated that in New York Interpol and US Customs had intercepted a pair of stolen Indian sculptures that were in route to London. A separate story presented the opposing view that the smuggling rings provide an opportunity for Indians living abroad to acquire desired antiquities. HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) and ICE also returned a cache of Nok sculptures, which had been identified in New York in 2010, to Nigeria.  The report follows the previous week's story which itemized Benin "blood antiquities" of questionable provenance that reside in U.S. Museums.
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