Subhash Kapoor (art dealer)

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Subhash Kapoor
NationalityIndian American
Years active1974–2011
Criminal chargeart theft, grand larceny,[1] criminal possession of stolen property[1]

Subhash Kapoor is a New York-based Art Thief who is in prison for allegedly running a $100 million international smuggling racket.[2][3] He was previously the owner of the Art of the Past gallery in Manhattan. His sister business, Nimbus Import/Exports, specialised in selling antiquities from across the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia to major museums around the world.[4][1]


On 30 October 2011, Kapoor was arrested at Frankfurt International Airport and on 14 July 2012 extradited to Chennai, India on charges of receiving artifacts that had been stolen from disused temples in southern India.[4] Many of these objects were purchased by museums throughout the world.[5] For example, in 2008 an 11th-century Chola-period bronze statue of a Dancing Shiva was sold by Kapoor to the National Gallery of Australia for $5.6 million (see Sripuranthan Natarajan Idol). The statue was allegedly stolen from an Indian temple in Tamil Nadu.[6][7][8]

He was kept at the Vellore prison, but was later shifted to Tiruchirappalli Central Prison.[3] He was attacked by a fellow inmate Kongu Yuvaraj, who was accused of committing an honor killing, following a heated argument between these two.[9]

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  1. ^ a b c "Jailed Art Dealer Subhash Kapoor Charged In US With Looting Artifacts". Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  2. ^ Anne Maria Nicholson (6 Mar 2014). "National Gallery of Australia defends practices despite admitting it may have been conned into buying stolen Indian art". ABC. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Art smuggler Subhash Kapoor slapped in prison". The Times of India. 2018-05-15. Archived from the original on 2019-09-01. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  4. ^ a b Adam Matthews (5 Dec 2013). "The man who sold the world". GQ. Condé Nast Digital India. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  5. ^ "UPDATED: Kapoor's Footprints: 240 Objects from Alleged Antiquities Trafficker Traced to Museums Around the Globe". Chasing Aphrodite. August 3, 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Dancing Shiva: National Gallery of Australia to return allegedly stolen statue to India". ABC. 27 Mar 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Expert labels National Gallery 'naive' as it sues over allegedly stolen Indian Shiva statue". ABC. 13 Feb 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Reckless: In Pursuit of Shiva, the National Gallery of Australia Ignored the Advice of Its Attorney". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Dalit youth murder accused Yuvaraj attacks idol smuggler Subhash Kapoor in Trichy Central Prison | Chennai News - Times of India".

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