Parvathi idol stolen from US auction house

It is well known that Indian idols are in high demand in overseas markets. We often hear stories of some “precious” idols disappearing or being stolen from temples, especially in various parts of South India. Due to the belief in the power of idols, they often appear at auction.

One such idol of Goddess Parvati was recently up for sale at Bonham’s auction house, and it has been identified as a stolen idol. Incidentally, the idol belongs to the Nadanapureshwarar temple in Kumbakonam.

The Tamil Nadu idol wing immediately sought the help of an archaeologist who said the photograph was a perfect match to the one that went missing in Kumbakonam. The photograph of the idol was at the French Institute in Pondicherry.

Ironically, the idol was stolen in 1971 and the temple administrator K Vasu filed a complaint in 2019. In 1971 the idols were in the temple, but one day the temple authorities discovered that the lock was broken and that the idol had disappeared.

While an FIR was filed earlier, a case was registered in 2019. The police started the process of returning the idol to India under the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention.

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