Customs officials recover idol looted from Indian temple

This undated photo provided by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows a bronze religious statue. U.S. customs officials say the statue was looted from a temple in India. The New York office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday, July 1, 2015, that an anonymous collector voluntarily surrendered the idol and it will be returned to India. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)
This undated photo provided by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows a bronze religious statue. U.S. customs officials say the statue was looted from a temple in India. The New York office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday, July 1, 2015, that an anonymous collector voluntarily surrendered the idol and it will be returned to India. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Customs officials in New York have recovered a bronze religious statue from the 11th or 12th century that they say was looted from a temple in India.

The New York office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday an anonymous collector voluntarily surrendered the idol. It says the 2 1/2-foot idol was looted from a temple in Tamil Nadu at the southern tip of India and will be returned to India.

Customs agents say the collector bought the object in 2006 and was given false provenance papers.

ICE says the bronze statue would sell for as much as $1 million if offered on the market.

The idol’s recovery is part of a three-year investigation into former New York-based art dealer Subhash Kapoor, who’s awaiting trial in India on looting charges.

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