Heritage experts should help law enforcement agencies in the country understand the heritage value of antiques, S. Vijay Kumar, founder, The India Pride Project, said on Monday.
Speaking on ‘Chennai Heritage Lecture: Busting the idol racket’, which was organised by Madras Musings as part Madras Week celebrations here, Vijay Kumar said that such imparting of knowledge to law enforcement agencies by heritage experts will sensitise the police in better understanding of heritage value of antiques.
Such sensitisation, he said, would also help in speeding up the solving of idol theft cases as knowledge of the historical value and cultural significance of the stolen antiques will be apparent then.
Mr. Vijay Kumar stressed on the need for documenting existing idols in the country and making these registers available to the public. Once such information is available in the public domain, it will act as a deterrent against idol theft. “The existing shortage of manpower in the Idol Wing in the state also affects investigation of idol thefts cases. With the nature of idol smuggling turning into an investment than art collections as it was earlier, modernisation of law enforcement agencies is also needed,” he said.