FBI Dallas and Dallas Museum of Art Announce Transfer of Stele of Lakshmi-Narayana to Government of Nepal
On Tuesday, March 2, 2021 officials from the Dallas FBI Field Office and the Dallas Museum of Art announced the transfer of a recovered stone artifact that was previously on loan to the museum from a private collection. With the full support of the object’s lender, the Stele of Lakshmi-Narayana was transported from Dallas, Texas, to Washington, D.C., then was returned to Nepali custody on March 5, 2021.
“Along with the FBI’s Art Crime Team, the Dallas FBI is grateful for the Dallas Museum of Art’s determination to assist in the safe return of the Stele of Lakshmi-Narayana to the government of Nepal,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “The FBI has developed significant relationships with our foreign partners that are committed to the protection of cultural property. We will continue to work with those partners to keep the public informed and updated about art and cultural property theft crimes to bring greater awareness to stolen artifacts.”
“The public plays an important role in recognizing and reporting possible stolen art, and the FBI relies on this cooperation to assist our recovery efforts,” SAC DeSarno continued. “In this instance, the owner purchased the piece from a multinational auction house and believed it to be legitimate, then fully cooperated with law enforcement to ensure the stele was responsibly relinquished so it could be returned to the people of Nepal.”
The FBI’s Art Crime Team, Allen Police Department, and U.S. Attorney’s Office - Northern District of Texas conducted this investigation.