CHENNAI: The idol wing CID of Tamil Nadu police has traced two antique idols of 12 artifacts stolen 40 years ago from Pannaka Parameswara Swamy Temple at Pannatheru, Nagapattinam.
The investigation started recently by the sleuths based on a complaint from one Balu found that two idols are in USA.
“We first traced the idol of Devi to the Indian and Southeast Asian Works of Art, New York. The Museum acquired the 48.3 cm tall idol between 1970 and 1973. Our Investigation further revealed that the auction house Sotheby's had recently sold it for USD 50000. (39, 98,575.00 INR)," a press release from the idol wing said on Monday.
The investigators also traced a bronze Vinayagar idol that was stolen from the temple to the Norton Simon Museum, USA. The idol came into the possession of the museum in 1972.
Images available in French Institute of Pondicherry and heritage enthusiast Vijayakumar had helped the sleuths to trace the idols to the US, by searching matching images on the internet.
The wing has started process to retrieve the idols as soon as possible, said DGP Jayanth Murali of Idol wing.