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The CAG report in 2013 slammed the ASI for its slackness. Today we see a classic case in pointer.

“From 3rd - 12th November, London’s leading Asian art dealers, auction houses and academic and cultural institutions will unite to present an exciting programme of gallery receptions, auctions, lectures, symposia and museum exhibitions. Sample of the magnificent selection of Asian antiques from: India; Islam; China; Japan; the Himalayas and Korea, spanning some 5000 years of culture - including ceramics, furniture, glass, jade, jewellery, manuscripts, metalwork, paintings, screens, stone carvings and textiles. Below please find a selection of offerings from some of London’s leading galleries, including Asianart.com galleries and other members of Asian Art in London. ” ….so reads the still live website of the event.

What is interesting is very first “exhibitor” - Art of the Past, 1242 Madison Avenue,New York, NY 10128, USA

That the Gallery owner was arrested in Frankfurt airport in October 2011 is to read with the date of this auction !!

The second artifact for “sale”is the subject of our today’s expose !!

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We go back to Sri Kirit Mankodi’s site - to the post titled Kari Talai 3rd alert

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” The temple of Vishnu’s Boar incarnation at Kari Talai is a large complex of the eleventh century, under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Nine sculptures were stolen from this remote site during the night of 16/17 August 2006. They are a Vishnu Torso, a Divine Couple, Ganesha, Amorous Princely Couples and Apsaras………………The sculptures were stolen from a centrally protected site. ASI has records of all these sculptures……….”

The scale of this loot is truly mind blowing and unless concrete action is initiated by the Indian Government it would be left to such scant spotting to identify the loot - let alone bring them back ! However, we are happy that there are a few kindred souls like Sri Mankodi who continue to champion the yet not lost cause.

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Category: Sculpture

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Part 1 of this post exposed how the provenance for this fantastic bronze was erased and she was auctioned for a million dollars.

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We had seen the reference in the 1944 article Gauri, A Southern Bronze, By K. B. IYER - where he specifically mentions “One of such pieces is Gauri from the Kailasanath temple, Conjeeveram, now in the collection of Ramgopal, the well-known dancer.”

Today we bring forth more research into her origins - for a 1915 publication - Sri O.C. Ganguly’s South Indian Bronzes.

Here is the great man himself and a short bio

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Here are the references to the bronze from the book.

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From the above it is clear that the Bronze was very much in the Kailasantha temple atleast till 1915 and inbetween 1915 n 1944 it somehow moved into the possession of famous dancer Sri Ram Gopal OBE and was with him at least till 1944.

This post may not provide any conclusive evidence to seek restitution of the bronze but atleast it gives her a past and a home town - The Gauri of the Kanchi Kailasantha Temple and not just ” A large and important bronze figure of Parvati”

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Category: Sculpture

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