US Returns Items to Cambodia Confiscated From New York Gallerists

The illegally exported relics returned to their homeland

Artifacts displayed during the handover ceremony to Cambodian government.
Royal Embassy of Cambodia to the United States

The District Court of Manhattan has ordered the return of thirty antique artifacts to Cambodia, totaling $ 3.8 million. Among the items are Buddhist statues from the Angkor period and copies of Hindu figures that were smuggled out of the country.

Among the relics returned are objects confiscated from gallerists Subhash Kapoor and Nancy Wiener, who for many years exported and sold valuable artifacts from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, and other countries. Authorities said Kapoor and other defendants smuggled the stolen items to his Art of the Past gallery on Madison Avenue. Over the course of nine years, the police team tracked and recovered more than 2,500 artifacts that passed through the gallery center, with an estimated value of more than $143 million.

“The repatriation of these twenty seven stunning relics to the people of Cambodia restores an important link between the nation’s classical Angkor era and its modern customs and beliefs,” said attorney Cy Vance at an official ceremony in New York County.