Posted: August 4th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: ART, Art News | Tags: Art Theft, Crime, Indian High Commission, National Gallery of Australia, NGA, Shiva as Nataraja, Subhash Kapoor | No Comments »
The National Gallery of Australia – NGA – is talking to the Indian High Commission, after a New York-based art dealer was arrested for allegedly trafficking antiquities. The gallery says that it believes it’s one of 18 major international art institutions that have acquired works of art through Subhash Kapoor.
In 2008, the gallery says it purchased the statue, known as ‘Shiva as Nataraja, Lord of the Dance’ from Mr Kapoor. Other institutions which may have been affected include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Kapoor has been in the art business for almost 4 decades, he opened his Madison Avenue gallery in 1976, two years after arriving in the United States. Mr Kapoor was believed to be following family tradition. His father, Parshottam Ram Kapoor, had been an art collector. On his father’s death in 2007, Subhash Kapoor gifted 108 Indian drawings he inherited, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Columbia University.
The NGA says it followed a thorough due diligence process regarding the quality, provenance and time of its departure from India. In a statement the gallery says it is yet to be determined if this work is one that has been stolen. The gallery says it has not been contacted by Indian Police or any other authority about the matter. The NGA has begun its own investigation into the acquisition and the paperwork.
The allegations against Mr Kapoor are the latest in long history of theft of Indian art and artifacts. With its ancient civilization, India’s monuments and archeological sites have been robbed for hundreds of years. The line that divides theft and art collecting, including museums, is indeed fine.
Posted: July 1st, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: ART, Art News, STANDOUT | Tags: 1949 Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio, Crime, Madison Avenue, Salvador Dali, Stolen Art, Venus Over Manhattan | No Comments »
The Salvador Dali water-colour – Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio – stolen from a New York City gallery last week has been mailed back in pristine condition.
Earlier this week the gallery received a brief email message by an unknown person, saying Cartel de Don Juan Tenirio is “on its way back to you already”.
The message clearly raised hope that the 1949 ink and watercolour piece may be returned.
Deputy New York Police Commissioner John McCarthy said the package was mailed from a location in Europe, and bore a fake address and sender address. Deputy Commissioner McCarthy said via statement that police detectives took possession of the painting from postal inspectors at John F. Kennedy International Airport when it arrived in New York on Thursday.
It was returned on Friday to the gallery, where it is being authenticated.
A spokesman for the gallery, which opened just this year on Manhattan’s fashionable Upper East Side, has declined to comment.
A second police source has speculated that publicity surrounding the theft had complicated efforts to sell the painting on the black market.
Posted: June 23rd, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: ART, Art News, STANDOUT | Tags: 1949 Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio, Crime, Madison Avenue, Salvador Dali, Stolen Art, Venus Over Manhattan | No Comments »
An audacious thief posing as an art lover snatched a Salvador Dali watercolour and ink painting worth an estimated $US150,000 from a New York private art gallery this week.
Police said the man walked into the Venus Over Manhattan art gallery on Madison Avenue on Tuesday afternoon, posing as a “potential customer”.
“He removed the painting and he fled,” a police spokeswoman said.
Video surveillance cameras showed the man, in his mid-30s to mid-40s, wearing a black and white shirt and jeans, casually walking out with the painting sticking out of a shopping bag.
Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s 1949 Cartel des Don Juan Tenorio was on display as part of the gallery’s debut exhibition, which opened in May.