Idol Wing CID police trace three statues stolen from a temple in Tiruvarur district to a museum in the U.S.

The Vishnu idol, which was stolen from the Venugopala Swamy temple in Alathur of Tiruvarur district. 

The Vishnu idol, which was stolen from the Venugopala Swamy temple in Alathur of Tiruvarur district.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Idol Wing CID has traced three idols, which had gone missing from a temple in Tiruvarur district over 50 years ago, to a museum in the U.S.

Officials are planning to bring the idols back through the UNESCO treaty soon. While investigating cases that had been pending for several years, the wing looked at the idol theft case registered in the Vikrapandiyam police station by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) Department in February 2017. According to the complaint, three metal idols of Vishnu, Sridevi and Bhudevi from the Venugopala Swamy temple at Alathur in Tiruvarur had been missing. It further said that 12 idols belonging to the temple were placed in the custody of Tiruvarur Icon Centre for secure possession.

However, it was found that these three idols were replaced with fake ones. Since the case registered in 2017 had not made much headway, a police team, headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Chandrasekaran, was formed to carry out a probe.

Having no original pictures of the three stolen idols, the Idol Wing police decided to check photographs and documents available with the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP), and based on those pictures, the team then began looking at images uploaded on websites of museums worldwide, to check for resemblance with the stolen idols.

During the search, they found images of three idols resembling those at the Los Angeles Museum of County Art in the U.S. Experts certified that the idols in the images belonged to the Venugopala Swamy Temple. The special team has prepared and submitted the papers proving the ownership of the idols to the Tamil Nadu government, for bringing them back to the State.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 12:09:23 am |