14 articles including lingams, ivory articles were stolen

A spatika lingam, maragatha lingam, ivory articles and old bronze knives were stolen from the Serfoji Memorial hall of Sadur Mahal in the Thanjavur palace complex on Friday.

Prince Shivaji Rajah Bhonsle, a member of the Thanjavur royal family, lives in the Sadur Mahal, where the theft took place.

The articles were stolen from three showcases kept in the hall by breaking open the locks of the show cases. Shivaji Rajah Bhonsle said he noticed that the articles were missing on Friday evening. The articles might have been stolen in the afternoon, he said. The prince said he used to watch the happenings in the hall on closed-circuit television from his residential portion. But due to power cut on Friday afternoon, the TV was not working. Though women caretakers were there in the hall, the disappearance of articles was noticed in the evening.

According to a complaint lodged with Thanjavur west police by the Prince, 14 articles — a Margatha lingam of one inch height, one spatika lingam of three inches height, three small ivory Krishna idols, a quarter-inch ivory elephant, an ivory comb and some old knives — were missing from the hall.

Police visited the hall on receiving the complaint and took fingerprints. They have registered a case.

T.S.Anbu, Superintendent of Police, said a special team had been formed to nab the culprits. As the stolen articles have antique value, the actual valuation has not yet been made.

The Nayak-Maratta palace complex is nearly 400 years old. The Serfoji Memorial hall has a collection of old coins, currencies, head gear and other dresses used by the Maratta kings, weapons used by them, paintings and utensils.

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