Missing idols of TN temple traced to USA
Missing idols of TN temple traced to USA

Six missing idols of TN temple traced to USA

Idols of dancing Nataraja and Veenadhari Dakshinamoorthy were at Christie's USA, idol of Saint Sundarar with wife Paravai at Freer Sackler Museum of Art, USA and Thiripuranthakan with Thiripurasundari at Cleveland Museum of Art, USA.

CHENNAI: Six antique idols, believed to 11th century artifacts, stolen from a temple in Kallakurichi over 3 decades ago were traced by TN Idol Wing to different museums and auction houses in the USA.

Idols of dancing Nataraja and Veenadhari Dakshinamoorthy were at Christie's USA, idol of Saint Sundarar with wife Paravai at Freer Sackler Museum of Art, USA and Thiripuranthakan with Thiripurasundari at Cleveland Museum of Art, USA.

The Idol Wing has submitted documents to retrieve the antique idols. Though the idol wing started investigation in the year 2018, based on the complaint from E Rajendran about the missing idols of Nareeswara Sivan Temple at Veeracholapuram Village, then Villupuram District now Kallakurichi, the Idol Wing began looking for the idols with assistance from Vijay Kumar, a heritage enthusiast, in the catalogs of art collectors, various museums and auction houses. French Institute of Pondicherry also provided available photographs of the missing idols. Investigation revealed that the Christies Auctions and Private Sale had auctioned the Antique Panchaloha idol of Nataraja on 27 March 2003 and the antique Panchaloha idol of Veenadhari Dakshinamoorthy on 19 March, 2013. The idols of Thiripuranthakanand Tripurasundari were found in the official website of Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA.

A photo of Saint Sundarar with his wife, Parvati Natchiyaar, was found in the official website of Freer Sackler Museum of Art. The Idol Wing has now sent a letter of request through proper channel for repatriation of the six antique bronze metal Idols.

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