U.S. officials repatriate stolen Indian art


NEW YORK  — 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 today during a ceremony at the Indian consulate in Manhattan.

U.S. customs officials 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.