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 !!
” 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.