Chennai, June 16 (BPNS)
The idol wing of the Tamil Nadu police has commenced a probe after two idols from the state were traced to museums in the United States of America.
Idol wings sleuths told IANS that a tenth-century idol of Somaskandar was located in the North Simon Museum, California another Amman idol was traced to another museum in Denver, United States.
The Director-General of Police, Tamil Nadu, idol wing, Jayanth Murali received a complaint from a person, K. Narayanaswamy of Sivapuram village in Kumbakonam a few days ago. The complainant stated that the idols of Sivagurunthan temple in Sivapuram, Kumbakonam could be fake and that replicas are suspected to be used in the temple for worship.
The idol wing police, according to sources immediately swung into action and used the services of the old pictures of Somaskandar and Amman that were in the French Institute, Puducherry for reference.
A senior officer with the Idol wing who is into the investigation while speaking to IANS said, “ The idols of Somaskandar and of Amman at the Sivapuram temple seem to be replicas of the old idols that were smuggled out to the United States. We have traced the original idols at two museums in the United States and we are probing those who are behind this.”
The idol wing police have commenced questioning people attached to the temple and have also updated the information to the Ministry of Home, Government of India for further investigation into the matter with the embassy of India in the United States on the idols found in the museums of America.
The Tamil Nadu idol wing has been doing a commendable job for the past several years and has retrieved antique idols from many foreign countries including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia.