Museum turning over portrait bought from trafficking suspect

AP News
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Posted: Apr 03, 2015 5:12 PM

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — One of Massachusetts' most prestigious art museums is turning a portrait over to federal authorities because it was bought from a dealer accused of trafficking in stolen antiquities from India.

The Peabody Essex Museum says it will expedite the handover of the mid-19th century Tanjore portrait to the Department of Homeland Security to cooperate with an ongoing international art fraud investigation into dealer Subhash Kapoor (soob-ASH' kah-POOR').

The museum acquired the portrait from Kapoor's New York gallery in 2006. Kapoor was arrested in 2011 and is awaiting trial in India. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Peabody Essex Museum said Friday it has undertaken a "rigorous" internal assessment of its collection and is fully cooperating with Homeland Security. It says the allegations have "sent shock waves through the art community."