Archaeology Magazine

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Contested Artifacts Will Be Returned

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Dancing-Shiva-ReturnNEW YORK, NEW YORK—BBC News reports that two artifacts thought to have been smuggled out of Italy have been withdrawn from auctions in London. A Greek glass jug dating to the second or first century B.C., and a third century B.C. pottery vessel, were identified by Christos Tsirogiannis of the University of Cambridge as items that had been traded by art dealers convicted of trafficking in antiquities. And, according to India West, the National Gallery of Australia has agreed to return a 900-year-old bronze Shiva Nataraja, or Dancing Shiva, believed to have been stolen from a temple in India’s state of Tamil Nadu. The museum had purchased the statue in 2008 from a New York art dealer currently on trial in Chennai for allegedly organizing the theft of 28 objects from two temples in India.