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Asia Week Arrest: Japanese Dealer Charged With Selling Stolen Art

March 19, 2016

Very aggressive action this week by authorities to stem the flow of looted antiquities.


Japanese antiquities dealer Tatsuzo Kaku was arrested at Asia Week and charged on March 14th with criminal possession of a looted 2nd Century Buddhapada sculpture valued at more than $1 million, court records show.

Kaku, who owns Taiyo Ltd. in Tokyo, consigned the Kushan-period sculpture of the Buddha’s footprints to the Maitreya Inc. for sale at Asia Week.

buddhapada Authorities did not release an image of the Buddhapada seized from Kaku but based upon its description it is similar to this piece.

Maitreya is owned by antiquities dealer Nayef Homzi, a prominent Manhattan dealer in Asian art who was previously director of the Doris Wiener Gallery, owned by the mother of Nancy Wiener, whose gallery was also raided this week. Homzi was the target of a federal investigation at last year’s Asia Week after he was caught trying to sell looted Indian sculptures valued at more than…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Raymond ffoulkes permalink
    March 20, 2016 9:18 PM

    Perhaps this object is better off having been smuggled out of the Swat valley, than left there to be destroyed by fundamentalists…

    …and, by the way, this blog (which I do actually generally appreciate!) is a very great deal more indignant on the topic of smuggled antiquities than it is on the inequalities in capitalist societies which allow a rich elite to buy largely meretricious works by the likes of Koons and Twombly for tens of millions of dollars whilst the hungry die on our streets.

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