Thanks to investigations by a national security team, a Buddhist statue was recovered in Phoenix that had been illegally shipped to the United States more than 50 years ago.
The search for the ninth-century statue began in October 2019 and it was discovered that it had been bought abroad.
The statue was located in a house in the Phoenix area.
Authorities contacted the current owner who had expressed concern about owning the statue she said she inherited from her family.
The owner told authorities she believed the original purchase occurred more than 50 years ago in the Middle East while she and her family were living abroad.
The private collector voluntarily agreed to hand over the ancient statue to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) so that it could be repatriated to India after learning of its origins.
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