Kapoor was arrested by Interpol in Germany in 2011 and is in jail in India.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office filed a criminal complaint last month against Kapoor and several others. The complaint charges Kapoor with 86 counts of criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny and scheme to defraud for possessing artifacts worth millions of dollars.
A report in The New York Times said officials of the Indian government and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are discussing whether several of the prized antiquities that the museum began acquiring three decades ago were the result of looting by Kapoor.
The report1 said Indian officials appreciated the Met’s move to review the collection that could have been sourced from Kapoor.
“It is a good initiative,” D. .M Dimri, a spokesman for the Archaeological Survey of India, said of the Met’s effort. “We hope other museums will follow suit too and verify the source of their acquisitions in case they have our stolen antiquities.”
Indian officials have said their discussions with the Met about artifacts from Kapoor began last year. The Met’s curator for South and Southeast Asian art, John Guy, had visited the country last August, returning two antiquities that the Met had on its own determined were likely looted from the country.
- 1. The report said that since 1990, the museum acquired about 15 antiquities that passed through Kapoor’s hands during a period in which “his smuggling ring was active and he routinely sold or donated rare and costly artifacts to at least a dozen American museums.”
The discussions among officials in India and the U.S. are part of a major push by New Delhi to recover some of the tens of thousands of sacred idols and ancient relics that have been looted and sold over the last few decades by smugglers and temple raiders, the NYT report said.