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Stolen Buddhist statue may be returned to Japan


While we focus on Indian art, we can’t obviously function in a vacuum. It’s a small world and everything is connected, especially on the web. So, let’s train our spotlight across the world map to see what’s going on — from art trends to socio-political issues to everything that affects the great aesthetic global consciousness. Or, let’s just travel the world and have some fun!

Ukrainian Art Dealer Found Guilty Of Stealing £1.3M Paul Signac

Paul Signac’s Le Port de La Rochelle (1915)
Courtesy- Menafn

On Tuesday, a French judge sentenced Ukrainian art dealer Vadym Huzhva, 64, to five years in prison for orchestrating the theft of a Paul Signac painting worth £1.3m, as well as four other works and a rare book from French museums and auction houses. He has also been ordered to pay nearly €300,000 in damages. In 2018, the artwork by the French Impressionist, titled Le Port de La Rochelle (1915), mysteriously disappeared from its frame in the Musée de Beaux-Arts in Nancy, north-east France. Investigators later found out that three men removed the canvas using a box cutter before rolling it up, hiding it under a raincoat, and walking out of the museum in broad daylight. François Pérain, the Nancy public prosecutor, said the “unsophisticated” crime took everyone by surprise: “It was so simple… They wore headgear but they acted with their faces uncovered, entered by the main entrance and left through the same door.” Details on Menafn.

French Court Upholds Charges Against Martinez, Ex-Louvre Chief

The former president and director of the Louvre museum, Jean-Luc Martinez
Courtesy- Art News

This week, a French appeals court upheld the charges against Jean-Luc Martinez, the former president and director of the Louvre in Paris, for his alleged complicity in the trafficking of antiquities from Egypt. Martinez, who led the Louvre from 2013 to 2021, was charged in May for “complicity in fraud,” money laundering, and “facilitating” the purchase of artifacts linked to a vast trafficking ring that has been the target of a years-long police inquiry. French authorities suspect that the network of smugglers and their accomplices have sold art and relics to museums and galleries worldwide, including the Louvre’s Abu Dhabi outpost between 2014 and 2017. Martinez’s former colleague, the curator and archaeologist Jean-Francois Charnier, was also charged for his suspected involvement in the operation. Both are expected to appeal the ruling in France’s supreme court, per Le Monde. Details on Art News.

Stolen Buddhist statue to be returned to Japan

The 20-inch gilt bronze statue was stolen from a Japanese temple in 2012

A high court in South Korea ordered the return of a Buddhist statue that was stolen from a temple in Japan in 2012. The statue, which is more than 450 years old, depicts the Kanzeon Bodhisattva. Kanzeon is known among Buddhist culture as the One Who Perceives the Sounds of the World and is said to “grant salvation to the suffering.” The bodhisattva statue has been at the center of an international tug-of-war since it surfaced in South Korea, according to the Asahi Shimbun. In 2013, the South Korean government arrested the thieves who looted the statue from the Kannonji temple in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture. The statue was subsequently confiscated by the South Korean government. Shortly after, the Kannonji temple, with the support of the Japanese government, requested that the statue be returned. Read more on The Washington Post.