TN idol wing seizes Nataraja statue, approaches atomic research centre for validation

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The Tamil Nadu Police’s Idol Wing has seized a 4.5 feet-tall Nataraja statue, believed to be the third largest in Asia, from an area in Chennai.

While the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has confirmed that the statue is made of Panchaloha, the Idol Wing has approached the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) for validating the same.

A senior Idol Wing officer told IANS that the seizure was on Thursday and the accused person, Parthiban, did not have any documents to prove its ownership.

The investigation team is currently probing from where Parthiban got the Nataraja idol.

ASI officials told IANS that in 2017 a woman had approached them requesting a non-antiquity certificate to ship the idol to Germany.

However she did not reveal the location of the idol and its whereabouts and it was just like a casual enquiry, they said.

The Idol Wing had received a tip-off that the idol was in Chennai and recovered from the iron and steel market in the city’s Manali area.

Speaking to IANS, Director General of Police (Idol Wing), Jayanth Murali said: “We strongly believe that the idol is around 1,200 years old and it may either be during the Chola period or the transition period from Chola to Pallava dynasty. We have approached the IGCAR and the ASI to get an expert opinion on its antique value as well as on the panchaloha content and awaiting results.”

The Idol Wing has been making several arrests and recovering idols that were stolen from temples and waiting to be shipped abroad.

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