Ball State museum faces question of whether artwork stolen

Ball State University
(WISH Photo, file)

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  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. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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