Chennai

Seized idols dumped in the open

Under threat: Some of the idols that have been stored on the premises of the Economic Offences Wing in Guindy.   | Photo Credit: M. Karunakaran

A large number of antiquities that were seized from several persons, including antique dealers and business personalities, are lying in the open on the premises of the State police’s Economic Offences Wing office in Guindy.

The wooden artefacts, antique idols, pillars and pilasters are exposed to the elements every day.

Monsoon season

Officials of the Idol Wing are worried that the coming monsoon season will irreparably damage some of these antiques and antiquities unless remedial action is taken. They claimed that the Egmore Museum refused to accommodate the idols.

In 2016, the Idol Wing raided a premises owned by antique dealer G.Deenadayalan and seized more than 800 antique idols and artefacts from a godown in Alwarpet. Subsequently, 200 artefacts - mostly made out of wood - were seized from a bungalow-cum-gallery of Lakshminarayanan, an associate of Deenadayalan in Kuchikaadu located near Karanai village on East Coast Road. The Idol Wing also recovered 244 antique idols and artefacts from businessman Ranvir Shah’s house in Saidapet and two farmhouses in Kanchipuram district recently. Further investigation led to the unearthing of 23 idols from the PoesGarden premises of businesswoman Kiran Rao. The idols were transported with much difficulty and kept in the covered car parking. Those that could not be held there are being stored in the nearby vacant, open-to-the-sky areas. “Though initially we were given 3,000 square feet space in the Egmore Musuem, later they refused more space for safe keeping of our seized articles. We have no other option except keeping them in the small area within our premises in Guindy,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police P.A.Sundaram.

Wooden carvings, door frames and vahana), wooden yazhis — an imaginary animal combining an elephant and a lion, temple door frames are among the articles likely to be damaged.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 11:41:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/seized-idols-dumped-in-the-open/article25365053.ece

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