US officials repatriate stolen Indian art

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 14 at 5:05 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the world's most wanted stolen artworks, an antique sculpture looted from a temple, has been returned to India.

The sandstone work was one of three sculptures handed over to Indian diplomats Tuesday during a ceremony at the Indian consulate in Manhattan.

Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency say the three antiquities — worth at least $1.5 million — were smuggled through various countries by art dealers and accomplices officials wouldn't name.

The 350-pound "Vishnu and Lakshmi" sandstone sculpture was listed as No. 6 on Interpol's top 10 most wanted artworks.

The handover comes days after tensions between India and the United States escalated over the indictment of the deputy consul general in New York on charges she exploited her housekeeper and nanny.

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