The collection includes a statue of Saint Manikkavichavakar, a Hindu mystic and poet from the Chola period, that was stolen from Chennai's Sivan Temple, and a bronze sculpture of Ganesh that is said to be 1,000 years old.
In 2007, special agents of Homeland Security Investigations received a tip-off about a shipment of seven crates that were sent to the US. They seized the consignment that had been imported by Subhash Kapoor, owner of New York's Art of the Past Gallery. Many of the pieces returned to India were seized during that operation, the report said.
Kapoor, who is known to have stolen several antiquities from different nations, now awaits trial in India. Five people were arrested in the US in connection with the case.