The UK-based collector behind the handover was referred to as a lover of Indian art and culture
A set of three idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana, stolen from a temple in Tamil Nadu years ago, were brought back to the Indian government on Tuesday after a collector voluntarily offered to hand it back on finding their true history.
The theft goes back to 1978 and led to an investigation by the Idol Wing of the Tamil Nadu Cops working together with coworkers in the Metropolitan Cops in London.
The unnamed collector, who had obtained the statues in good faith, was notified about their suspicious provenance by the Met Cops.
After matching them up with archival photos from the 1950 s held at the French School in Pondicherry, it was shown that the idols in his ownership were those coming from the Vijayanagara period and stolen from Sri Rajagopalaswami Temple at Ananthamangalam in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu.
In a ceremony streamed from India Home in London in keeping with the limitation on events due to the COVID-19 limitations, priests from Sri Murugan Temple in London performed a brief religious event for their handover to India.
” Today marks the successful conclusion of the search and rescue operation of these extremely stunning idols, which were consecrated and worshipped side by side for years. We wished to ensure these divine beings were handled with due respect and propriety before they are shipped back to India,” stated Indian High Commissioner to the UK Gaitri Issar Kumar.
” On behalf of the government of India, I hope this will motivate museums and collectors to carefully look and check their collections and assist us bring back divine beings that belong to individuals of India and have been worshipped for centuries,” she said.
The UK-based collector behind the handover, who has picked to stay anonymous, was referred to as a fan of Indian art and culture.
Addressing the virtual event, authorities from the state government of Tamil Nadu praised his voluntary intervention and revealed the hope that no more action will be taken against him.
” The voluntary handover of these idols highlight two enforcement problems: the need for efficient communication and dialogue, and the correct paperwork of all cultural heritage, which would not just act as a deterrent to thefts however also help as evidence without which the result of this case may have been very various,” said Tim Wright, from the Metropolitan Authorities.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel, connecting essentially to the event from Delhi, welcomed the repatriation of the statues, which he stated was amongst over 40 “invaluable” stolen artefacts brought back to India considering that 2014.
He likewise exposed that documentation from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and other experts has actually been looked at for the British Museum as part of efforts to look for the repatriation of another idol which belongs in India.
( This story has actually not been edited by NDTV personnel and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)