Police In Tamil Nadu Discovered Stolen Idol Of Nataraja To US Museum

Nataraja idol
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Nataraja idol

Highlights

  • The Asia Society Museum in New York, US, has been linked to a stolen antique metal Nataraja idol that was taken from the 2,000-year-old Vedapureeswarar temple in Thanjavur district 62 years ago.
  • The investigation team went to the Indo-French Institute in Pondicherry to look for authentic photographs.

The Asia Society Museum in New York, US, has been linked to a stolen antique metal Nataraja idol that was taken from the 2,000-year-old Vedapureeswarar temple in Thanjavur district 62 years ago. S Venkatachalam, 60, of Tiruvedhikudi, submitted a complaint to the idol wing CID police, under the direction of director general of police (DGP) Jayanth Murali, filed a FIR on September 1, 2022.

According to Ventatachalam, the idol was taken from the temple in 1963. Inspector of police R Indira from the idol wing pursued the case. The investigation team went to the Indo-French Institute in Pondicherry to look for authentic photographs. After getting the photographs, the crew looked through catalogues from artefact collectors, auction houses, and various museum websites.

The crew conducted a thorough search before finding the idol on the Asia Society Museum's website.
The idol wing asked a professional for advice. The expert came to the conclusion that the idol at the museum and the image retrieved from the IFP were identical after carefully comparing the two. According to the police, steps were being taken to remove the idol from the museum and return it to India in accordance with a UNESCO agreement.
The Naducauvery police and the local senior officers were contacted by Venkatachalam's father Sammantham Chedurayar to try to locate the idol, but no action was done. Furthermore, now the theft of any additional idols from the shrine is being looked into by the authorities.
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