Tamil Nadu in talks with National Gallery of Australia to get back 7 stolen ancient idols

The government of Tamil Nadu has initiated talks with the National Gallery of Australia to recover several crores worth seven ancient temple idols stolen from the state and displayed in the Canberra-based museum.

Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture ‘Ma Foi’ K. Pandiarajan met Australian Consul General Susan Grace and NGA deputy director Kristen Paisley. He said that the Australian government had agreed to return all idols belonging to the state and signed an agreement on this count.

“We have shared information on the antiquity of the idols, its origin, temple location and even literary proofs with the Australian authorities to stake a claim on the seven idols which were stolen from Tamil Nadu several years ago and being displayed at their museum at Canberra in Australia,” said Minister Pandiarajan.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

He said he was hopeful of recovering the stolen idols from Australia at the earliest and pointed to the existence of an extradition treaty between India and Australia to recover the artefacts.

He pointed out that India and Australia have an agreement that covers the return of antiques and artefacts. The Australians, on their part, agreed that the idols were meant for worship and not to display, the minister said, adding, “We are working on modalities on how to bring back the antique idols displayed in the Australian Museum.”

The state government has claimed a 1,300-year-old standing Sambandar bronze idol, another rare bronze, a 1000-year-old dancing Sambandar, stolen from the Naganathaswamy temple at Manambadi village in the Tiruvidaimaruthur taluk of Nagapattinam district which was sold for Rs 4.59 crores.

The state has claimed many idols, a 1000-year-old of Arumugan from Manambadi, an 1100-year-old Nandi idol, Bhadrakali idol of the Kailasanathar temple at Kollumangudi, in Mayiladudurai taluk, and two stone Dwarapalakar idols from Udayar Sivan temple in Atthanallur, Tirunelveli. These idols were smuggled out of the country by various antique dealers at various points in time.

In the absence of consistent efforts and documentation with the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department since 1959, nothing much was done to retrieve the stolen idols.

Ponn Manickavel, after taking charge, reopened investigations and booked fresh cases. Some of the offenders responsible for the theft and illegal export of these idols were identified. This recovery of idols was a part of a very long process to identify and find the lost treasures.

The Tamil Nadu idol wing police have booked seven persons, including notorious artefact smuggler Subhas Kapoor, Vallavaprakash and Aditya Prakash of Indo Nepal Art Centre in Mumbai and Nachu alias Lakshmi Narasimman of Silpa Vatika Gallery for the offence of theft, smuggling and illegal export of idols including these seven idols. Idol wing chief Pon Manickavel solved the 22-year-old idol theft case whose file was in 1996 as untraceable a year after registering the case.

Recently, two 1000-year-old bronze idols of Rajaraja Chola and his wife, Lokamadevi, were returned to Tamil Nadu after they were stolen from Brihadeeshwarar temple at Thanjavur over 50 years ago. The idols were retrieved from the Calico museum Sarabhai Foundation galleries in Ahmedabad. at Ahmedabad and will be installed at the Temple

Two years ago, Australia had returned three artefacts, including an idol of goddess Pratyangira, stolen from a Shiva temple in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu. In 2014, then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had returned two statues of Nataraja and Ardhanariswarar stolen from temples in the state.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Mizoram assembly election results

Latest updates and breaking news on counting day: EC declares 3 wins in Madhya Pradesh, all 3 go to BJP

Latest news and updates from 2018 assembly election results of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram.

Here is why BJP lost elections, and of course, it was deliberate

What BJP supporters need to realise is this - no political party ever wants to lose and least of all, a party led by the two most politically aggressive politicians the country has ever seen.

Statue of all ironies: Pritish Nandy uses example of fake news to spread fake news

Pritish Nandy shared a fake image which was earlier shared by Youth Congress leader

Prashant Bhushan and left-liberal cabal was actively helping Vijay Mallya in UK court by attacking CBI special director Rakesh Asthana

Vijay Mallya's defence team was using Indian left-liberals' allegations agaist Rakesh Asthana in London court

Fact check: Did BJP President Amit Shah and PM Modi call Baniyas cheaters and accuse them of profiteering?

Earlier, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had also been accused of making a casteist remark, which turned out to be a Photoshopped image

After stopping BJP’s rath yatra, West Bengal government allows Hindu-hater Bangladeshi Maulana to address meetings in the state

BJP's rath yatra banned, Bangladeshi Islamic preacher welcomed in West Bengal
Image Source: Zee News

Sidhu knew of the opening before Imran Khan was sworn in, Kartarpur a bigger conspiracy by ISI: Captain Amarinder Singh

Pakistan General Bajwa had revealed the Kartarpur corridor news to Navjot Singh Sidhu even before Imran Khan was sworn in as their PM, Punjab CM Singh indicated “a bigger conspiracy" hatched by the Pak Army.
Vijay Mallya to be extradited

Big victory for India: UK court orders Vijay Mallya’s extradition who is wanted in India for a Rs. 9000 crore scam

The liquor baron, Vijay Mallya, is wanted in India in connection with an alleged scam worth Rs. 9000 crores and is to be extradited to India.

‘Journalists’ and politicians spread lies about RBI Deputy Governor’s resigning following Urjit Patel’s exit

"Journalists" started rumour-mongering about the resignation of RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya soon after Governor Urjit Patel resigned citing personal reasons

When ‘anti-corruption crusader’ met the ‘Raja’ of 2G spectrum scam

Kejriwal, who till now has been religiously snubbed by Congress and its allies, is expected to participate in the meeting for the first time.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,521FansLike
97,353FollowersFollow
6,057SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these