Stolen 19th-Century Painting of Indian King Serfoji Found at US Art Gallery - Report

© Photo : taken from social mediaMid-19th century Maharaja Serfoji II of Tanjavur and his son Shivaji II, Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
Mid-19th century Maharaja Serfoji II of Tanjavur and his son Shivaji II, Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.07.2022
Police told Indian media that the painting was missing from the Saraswathi Mahal Library in Tamil Nadu, but the authorities aren't certain exactly what day it was stolen. In 2017, the librarian of the Saraswathi Mahal Library, E Rajendran filed a missing antique report with the police.
A stolen 19th-century painting of India's King Serfoji (who reigned from 1787 to his death in 1832), and his son Sivaji II of the Bhonsle Dynasty has been traced to the US by the idol wing of the police in India's state of Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu Police's Idol wing scanned the websites of several museums and other antique-buying institutions and auction centers and discovered that the painting was bought by Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts from a Manhattan-based antique dealer in 2006 for $35,000.
When PEM authorities learnt that the painting had been stolen, they handed it over to the US Homeland Security to further investigate the ongoing alleged international art fraud enterprise.
The investigation revealed that an antique smuggler, Sanjeev Kapoor, arrested in 2011 for smuggling antiques out of India and at present in prison, was behind the painting's theft.
Kapoor reportedly used the name of Leo Figiel, a collector of Indian art who died in 2013, and composed a fraudulent letter claiming that the artifact had been sold to him by Figiel who had bought it from a European collection in 1969.
The Idol wing pf the police are planning to bring the artifact back to the library through the UNESCO art treaty.
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