An idol that went missing from a temple in Thanjavur more than 5 decades ago was said to be in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University, London, if one goes by matching of photographs, said Idol wing CID, here.
The idol could have gone missing between the year 1957 and 1967, which is approximately five decades ago. Based on a complaint from executive officer of the temple the idol wing CID has registered a complaint recently and a DSP in Kumbakonam has been assigned to probe into the missing idol.
According to idol wing ADGP Abhay Kumar Singh, the picture of the missing idol is matching with image of idol which was found in the Ashmolean Museum.
“But only after we physically verify the idol at the museum with the help of some experts, we can confirm it,” the official noted when this newspaper contacted him.
The police have so far only compared the images. The photograph of the antique idol was taken in the year 1957 when the idol was inside the temple. It looks like the antique idol was replaced with a fresh one after the original was taken away. The old image of the antique idol is not matching with that of image of the present idol at the temple, an idol wing official noted.
Once the police officials get confirmation that the idol kept in the Oxford university museum is the same missing idol of the Kumabkonam temple, investigators will take efforts to bring back the idol.
“We will start the probe at the earliest and will arrest those behind stealing and smuggling the idol from the temple. Once the suspects are arrested, we will try to retrieve the idol and bring it back to the temple, where it once belonged, so that devotees can start worshipping it again,” police said.