Mystery company ties accused temple raiders to art world elite | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Mystery company ties accused temple raiders to art world elite

They pulled ancient Buddha heads out of the ground in war-torn Afghanistan and stole idols from temples in India. They cracked open shrines in Nepal, and in Cambodia bought an 11th-century statue of the Hindu god Shiva on the black market.

According to indictments filed in New York last year, a network of art thieves and traffickers extracted thousands of precious relics from archaeological sites across Asia and sold them to museums, elite galleries and wealthy private buyers.

Prosecutors say the group includes suppliers, restorers and New York art dealers who fabricated documents describing the origin of the antiquities to camouflage the looting.

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