Abirpothi

India’s only daily art newspaper

300 years old idols stolen from temple in Tamil Nadu recovered from an antique collector\’s house

7 stolen idols worth crores in international market, each over 300 years old were recovered by The Tamil Nadu Police, Idol Wing on December 7 from an idol collector’s residence. The lady identified as Sobha Durairajan had purchased the antique idols from a man named Deenadayalan of Aparna Art Gallery in 2008 and 2015. The woman even produced receipts and documents of four out of seven idols disclosingthe registration of the idols with the Archaeological Survey of India.

The seven idols were Adhi Kesava Perumal, Sree Devi, Bhoodevi, Asthira Devar, Amman, Veera Bhadra, Mahadevi.

After thorough investigation three out of seven idols were found to be stolen from Adhi Kesava Temple, Ulundurpet in July 2011. The three idols were Adhi Kesava Perumal, Sreedevi and Bhoodevi.Examination of the idols gave an estimated price of the idols to be worth more than 5 crores in the international market.

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According to the press release, \”The investigation team later produced the antique idols before an expert, along with the images of Perumal, Sreedevi and Bhoodevi obtained from the Aadhi-Kesava Temple. The expert, after examining the idols, confirmed that the photos of the idols brought from the temple and those found during the search of the premises in RA Puram were the same.\” 

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\”Investigation further revealed that the owner of the stolen idols, Durairajan had registered the Standing Perumal, Sreedevi and Bhoodevi with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Shimoga in 2013. The owner of the illicit antique idols had no receipt for the above idols although she had receipts for the remaining idols which were signed and issued by the late Tr Deenadayalan himself,\” read the release.

The remaining four idols are still being investigated which are registered with the ASI in Chennai in 2008. These four idols are estimated to be worth Rs. 2 crore in international market.

The idol wing is planning to hand over the three idols standing Perumal, Sreedevi and Bhoodevi to the Adhi-Kesava temple shortly.

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