TN Police trace stolen idol to New York museum

The Idol Wing of Tamil Nadu Police has traced a Natarajar idol stolen 62 years ago from Vedapureeswar temple, Thanjavur to the Asia Society Museum in New York.

The idol wing received a complaint on September 1 from a S. Veniktachalam, 60, stating that miscreants had broken open the Vedapureeswar temple, Thanjavur, 62 years ago and that his father had then tried to register a complaint with the local police but to no avail.

The temple at Thiruvedhikudi Kandiyur is 2,000 years old and is under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department.

The complainant said it was a well-known temple where great scholars like Tirunavakarasar and Thiruganasambadanar used to visit the temple and sang the glory of the presiding diety.

The complainant, S. Venkitachalam said that his father Sammantham Chedurayar had died of trauma as after the idol was stolen from the temple, he had approached the police station but the department was not willing to take up the case.

The Idol wing of police immediately referred to the photographs of old temples and its idols from the Indo-French Institute, Puducherry and on detailed study of the photographs could understand that the idol that was stolen from Vedapureeswar temple was at the Asia Society Museum, New York.

An expert issued a certificate that the idol that was stolen from Vedapureeswar temple and the one at the Asia Society Museum in New York is the same.

K. Jayanth Murali, DGP, Idol wing, Tamil Nadu said an expeditious action is required to retrieve the idol under the UNESCO agreement and restore it to the Veedepureswaram temple.




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