Ball State museum faces question of whether artwork stolen

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MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A 1,000-year-old Hindu idol on display at Ball State University’s art museum has come under question since the dealer of the artifact became the subject of a federal investigation. A blogger who has helped identify many stolen idols believes that the small bronze statue depicting the marriage of deities Shiva and Parvati was taken from a temple in India. The Ball State museum bought the artifact 10 years ago from a New York City art dealer who’s accused of being one of the world’s most prolific art smugglers.

But museum director Robert La France tells The (Muncie) Star Press (http://tspne.ws/1gznB7r ) that there’s no proof the statue was stolen.

The art dealer was arrested in Germany in 2011 and extradited a year later to India, where he’s awaiting trial.

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Information from: The Star Press, http://www.thestarpress.com