TN idol wing stakes claim over 4 idols among 29 returned by Australia

Chennai, March 22 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu police idol wing has staked claim over four of the 29 idols returned by Australia on Monday.
The idols were returned by Australia ahead of the virtual meet between the Prime Ministers of the two countries.
Of the four idols, one was stolen from Myladuthurai in 1965, the idol wing said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked his Australian counterpart Scott Morisson for taking initiative to return the idols. He also inspected the idols that were returned.
According to sources in the idol wing, out of the four idols that they have staked claim on, one is an idol of Shaivaite Saint, Thirugananasambandar in standing position, the other is in his dancing position, the third is of Chandeshvara Nayanmaragain and the last one is of Lord Shiva. All the idols are made of bronze.
Thirugananasambandar was one of the 63 Shaivaite saints who were called Nayanmar and was one among the three who sang the hymns of ‘Thevaram’.
Idol wing police said that the bronze statue of Thirugananasambandar in the standing position was from Sayavaneswarar Temple in Sirkazhi in Myladuthurai and was made in 12th century AD. Sources said that this idol was reportedly stolen by a person named William Wolf and smuggled to Australia.
They said that the age and period of other three idols are not clear and that they are checking with the Tamil Nadu, HR&CE department in this regard.
The ADGP of Tamil Nadu idol wing, told IANS: “The Tamil Nadu government and the Tamil Nadu idol wing have taken great efforts to identify these idols and bring them back to India. We are yet to receive any official communication from the Government of India regarding these idols and once we receive them we would hand over to the HR&CE department and install them in their respective temples.”
Notably, the idol wing since it was constituted had done yeoman service to retrieve lost idols and had conducted several raids across the state and neigbhouring states to retrieve the lost idols.
More than hundred valuable and precious idols worth several crores were retrieved by it and several international smugglers involved in trading of stolen idols arrested.

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