TN idol wing in Chennai seizes Chola-era idols, Thanjavur paintings from NRI’s house

The idols and paintings were seized from a house in RA Puram as the owner did not have documents authorising legal custody of the antique idols, police said.
Seven Chola bronzes seized in Chennai
Seven Chola bronzes seized in Chennai
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Seven Chola-era bronze idols and two Thanjavur paintings, said to be worth several crores of rupees in total, were confiscated from a house in Chennai by the Tamil Nadu idol wing CID on Friday, September 30. The idols that had been stolen from a temple were found in a RA Puram home, Puthiyathalaimurai TV reported. The news channel also said that the house owner is currently living in the United States and that the police are still investigating who had brought the idols and paintings into the house. Following a tip-off that seven high-value antique Chola bronze idols and two Thanjavur paintings were in the house since 2011, Superintendent of Police (SP) P Ravi undertook a search.

“The idol wing seized the paintings and idols as the owner was not in possession of documents authorising legal custody of the antique idols. As the owner could not establish provenance of the idols, the idol wing has registered a case and is investigating,” Director General of Police (DGP) of the idol wing CID K Jayanth Murali said.

The bronze idols are of Krishna, Parvathi, Buddha, Tara and another goddess. The paintings are of Balakrishnan, and of Krishna and Yashoda. These will be produced before the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for inspection, and a report will be forwarded to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department for identifying and assigning the idols to the temples, DGP Jayanth Murali added. According to Puthiyathalaimurai, the paintings and idols will first be sent to the Kumbakonam office of the idol wing for safekeeping. 

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With PTI inputs

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