CHENNAI: CHENNAI: Sleuths from the Idol Wing CID has traced a bronze idol of dancing Krishna idol that was burgled in 1966 from Ekantha Ramaswamy Temple (Vishnu temple), Thangachimadam village, Rameshwaram, to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana, USA, while investigating a complaint filed by the Executive Officer, HR&CE of the temple on November 23, 2022.
G Narayani, executive officer of Ekantha temple, filed a complaint to the Idol Wing CID, Chennai, stating that 3 or more idols including an antique Krishna idol had been burgled in 1966. She requested the Idol Wing to investigate, take action, recover the antique idols and restore them back to the temple.
During the investigation, the Investigating Officer (IO) visited the temple premises and made enquiries with the village elders regarding the missing idols. He also visited the ICON Centre, Sivaganga, and conducted an inquiry with the officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) Department.
As no image of the dancing Krishna idol was available in the temple records, he sent a requisition to the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) to provide stock images of the idols taken from the Vishnu temple. Following his request, the IFP sent 6 digital images from its’ collection.
Looking at them, the IO came to know that the temple had 12 metal idols in 1958. “And, in 2012, the temple priest had handed over 6 metal idols to HR&CE officials; so the remaining 6 had been stolen from the temple – Krishna alias Kendarva Krishna (dancing posture), Vishnu, Sridevi, Bhoodevi, Bhoodevi and Vishnu – were stolen,” he said.
The next step was to investigate and trace the idols if they had been smuggled and sold abroad. While combing through many websites of museums in the world, the idol of dancing Krishna (like the IFP image) was found being displayed on the website of Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana, USA.
He immediately downloaded the image and dispatched it along with the IFP image to an expert for comparison. After comparing the images, the expert opined that the 2 photos of the metal images of Lord Krishna (in dancing posture) are one and the same.
With indisputable facts, the Idol Wing CID has prepared documentary evidence claiming ownership of the dancing Krishna idol. They’re submitting it to the museum in Indiana to retrieve and restore the idol to the Ekantha Ramaswamy Temple, said a press note from DGP Jayant Murali.
The sleuths are also looking for other five idols that were missing along with the dancing Krishna.