September 22, 2016
The four ancient panchaloka idols recovered from various countries were today presented before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Kumbakonam today.
The idols had been stolen from the Varadarajaperumal temple at Suthamalli and the Kailasanathar temple at Sripuranthan in Ariyalur district. The recovered idols were earlier inspected by a team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and were confirmed to be antiques.
On the directions of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Baskaran, the idols were kept at the icon shelter at the Sri Nageswar Swamy temple, Kumbakonam.
Sources said that at least 28 idols had been stolen from the Varadarajaperumal temple in Suthamalli village and Kailasanathar temple at Sripuranthan village in Ariyalur district during the year 2006-2008.
Many of these idols were recovered from the premises of international idol smuggler Subash Chandra Kapoor’s Art of Past Gallery and Sofia Self Storage Unit in New York. The idols included Natarajar, Boodevi, Sivagami Amman, Chakrathalvar which were seized in Australia and the U.S.