France’s famous international auction house Christie’s has halted the sale of the 500-year-old statue of Nataraj, which was stolen from a temple in Tamil Nadu in 1972, after state police became aware of the case.
These efforts elicited spontaneous appreciation from Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Previously, Christie’s.com had stopped selling the ancient 15th century idol stolen from Kovilpatti of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu Idol Wing DGP K Jayanth Murali said it was the first time in India that he and the entire Idol Wing CID were satisfied with their efforts to prevent the auction.
Christie’s had recently posted a notice on its website regarding the auction of the idol Nataraj, which belongs to the ancient Sri Kothanda Rameshwar temple, at Kayattar, Kovilpatti in Tuticorin district, for €2,000 to €3,000 on Friday.
Alert Murali, noticing the auction, tweeted on Dec. 13, tagged the Antiquities Alliance, an international campaign against cultural extortion and the Archaeological Survey of India, saying, “France. Stop the auction. Give it to us. It’s an idol stolen from: India, Tamil Nadu, Siva temple, “Finally, Christie’s.com realizes that the auctioned idol has been stolen from Tamil Nadu, and withdraw their review,” he said.
Our voice has been heard. Christie’s.com has pulled the stolen idol Nataraja from auction in India. Indian Ambassador to France Mr. #Javed Ashraf, Thank you Mr. Javed Ashraf, #ASI, #GOI, #TNGovt Vijay Kumar (art enthusiast) and my team have informed me to stop auctioning for the first time in a while,” Murali said in a tweet.
The bronze idol belongs to the Vijayanagara period – 15th-16th centuries – according to Idol Wing CID. The senior official said efforts are currently underway to return the idol to the state.
Asked about it, the DGP told PTI on Friday, “My team and I are thrilled and happy because this is the first time India has done this. As for the reaction from the other side, it could be within three months,” he said of the return of the temple idol. .
Well done @jayantmuraliipsMinOfCultureGoIAmitShahOffice @DrSJaishankar @JawedAshraf5 for the well coordinated work Nirmala Sitharaman said on twitter. » PTI JSP SA SA. »
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