Tamil Nadu

Idol Wing CID police trace Parvati idol of Chola temple in Bonhams auction house in New York

The Parvati idol which was burgled in 1971.

The Parvati idol which was burgled in 1971. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Opening investigation into the burglary of five idols from a Chola-period temple that occurred 51 years ago, the Idol Wing CID police now has traced a Parvati idol which was listed for auction by Bonhams auction house, in New York.

Originally, the burglary was committed on May 12,1971 in the Nadanapureshwarar Sivan temple in Thandanthottam for which a complaint was given to Nachiyarkoil police station the next day. No FIR was registered until 2019 for the theft of the five antique idols from the temple.

In 2019, K.Vasu, a temple trustee who lodged the complaint said he had seen the idols when they were in the temple for public worship and did not see them after 1971. He had given details about the names and dimensions of each of these five stolen idols. He had noticed the locks of the temple broken on the night of the offence and then two trustees gave a complaint to Nachiyar Koil police Station. "Then the Sub-Inspector visited the temple, and I know till today no FlR has been registered in connection with the theft of these idols even after 48 years. This is painful and most unfortunate," said Mr. Vasu in the complaint given in 2019 to then the Special Officer A.G.Ponn Manickavel. A case was finally registered in 2019.

Also read:Idol Wing CID seizes nine stone statues in Chennai

Director General of Police, Idol Wing CID, K.Jayanth Murali, said, "We sought the opinion from an expert who served as Deputy Superintending Archaeologist in the State. His opinion was that the photograph of the idol at French Institute of Pondicherry and the idol of Parvati on sale at Bonhams auction place are the same, which means the Parvati idol at Bonhams belongs to Nadanapureshwarar Sivan temple in Thandanthottam near Kumbakonam. Therefore, we are entitled to claim ownership of the idol as India is a party to UNESCO'S World Heritage Convention, 1972."

"Now, the wing has initiated steps to bring the Parvati Idol back to India by proving the ownership through documents. We have also sought the assistance of enforcing authorities concerned to bring back the idol. We will be take steps to trace the four other idols that were stolen from here," said Mr. Murali.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 7:10:36 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/idol-wing-cid-police-trace-parvati-idol-of-chola-temple-in-bonhams-auction-house-in-new-york/article65744734.ece