20 antique idols seized from French national in Auroville
During the search, the Idol wing seized the following 20 artefacts which includes 13 stone idols, 4 metal idols, 1 wooden artefact, 1 painting and 1 terracotta
CHENNAI: The Idol Wing investigators had seized as many as 20 artefacts from a French national staying in Auroville, said a note from Idol wing CID of TN police on Monday.
Based on information from a source that a shop dealing with handicrafts called Auro Rachana was illegally dealing with stolen antique artefacts belonging to Tamilnadu, the Idol Wing obtained an order to search the premises from the Judicial Magistrate.
The wing organised a search on 11 September under the leadership of Inspector Indira. During the search of the Auro Rachana, documents related to twenty antique items which the dealer had tried assisting a French National to smuggle to France by obtaining a clearance from the Archaeological Survey of India were discovered from the premises. The address of the French national, a resident, was available in the documents seized by the Idol Wing. The Idol Wing team followed it up by searching the French national Dana Auro premises in Auroville.
During the search, the Idol wing seized the following 20 artefacts which includes 13 stone idols, 4 metal idols, 1 wooden artefact, 1 painting and 1 terracotta.
The seized idols are:
1. Ganesha Metal Idol
2. Krishnan Painting
3. Dancing Apsara Tree From Dominik Garden
4. Large Pillayar
5. Medium Pillayar
6. Small Pillayar
7. Large Buddha Statue
8. Dancing Apsara Statue
9. Vishnu Stone Statue
10. Parvati Stone Statue
11. Ayyappan Stone Statue Small
12. Ayyappan Stone Statue Large
13. Nandi Stone Idol
14. Stone Idol with Knife in Hand
15. Terracotta Buddha Idol (head only)
16. Bronze Anvil with Cover
17. Bronze Anvil
18. Peacock Lamp
19. Hanuman Idol
20. Murugan Idol
Investigation reveals that the French National had planned to take the artefacts to France but could not do so as the ASI disallowed it upon examining them as they suspected them of being antiques. The seized idols are being remanded in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Kumbakonam.