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Australia returned two Iconic artifacts to India over the weekend and it is really satisfying for us - we strongly believe that the Gods have chosen to return back to their abodes and this is only the start - many more WILL come back.

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What were returned were already forfeit to India as of April 2014 ! There are dozens of stolen art with false provenance still left in Australia waiting for proof from our side

The Vridhachalam Ardhanari and the Sripuranthan Nataraja are only tip of the Ice berg and its time Museums realise this - in today’s connected world and global collaborative research, they cannot hide behind technicalities.

Lots of friends ask us how they can help us in our efforts to bring back our ancestral treasures.

Here is one such example. Soon after we published the details of the Vriddhachalam story , the press and media caught on - interview for Radio Australia - ABC , The Australian , The Hindu , Hindu 2 - published our story.

A special friend on Social Media, a American national deeply interested in Indian Art contacted us and volunteered to provide assistance. A courier pouch landed in end june 2013 containing paper cuttings of - Art of the Past advertisements in various Magazines and Journals collected over the last 10-12 years !! One particular advertisement stood out.

art of the past advertisement

How could i forget her - i had been there when she was first exhibited as pride of show - in 2006. Infact i had a painting of her framed in my room !!

I checked the Idol wing website immediately. The 3rd one was possible match but the proportions were all wrong.

idol_wing

A little bit of checking made us realise that some rookie programmer had reduced the size of the bronze to fit the pdf file without ensuring it shrank in proportion. The correct view was this one.

checking2

The rest was academic

compare

Further research and another helpful friend sent us the Art of the Past catalogue 2006 with the actual advertisement.

photo(4)
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2

The Bronze was acquired in 2007 as per the Museum Label.

provenance 2007

We got in touch with the Museum and authorities in India mid of July and as usual met with a stone wall.

Finally things got to head when Kapoor’s Gallery assistant pleaded guilty in US court in early December 2013.


“During the period from on or about January 2005 to November 2006, one Uma Parameshvari (known at the “$650,000 Uma for Singapore”), owned by the Central Government of India, was stolen from the Sivan Temple in India’s Ariyalur District. During the period January 2006 to on or about January 2007, defendant and other co-conspirators shipped the $650,000 Uma for Singapore, from India to the United States. On or about February 2007, defendant and other co-conspirators arranged for the sale and transport of the $650,000 Uma to the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore.”

The Uma has since been removed from display and in May we reported that the entire list of objects that the ACM purchased from the dealer.

The defense of Museums worldover when faced with this scenario seems to be following the same rule books - Ignore, stone wall, delay etc etc. To add insult to injury see this stance taken by an Art Consultant

” Art consultant ————– suggests that there may also be alternatives to repatriation, even if an artefact is found to have been illegally removed.

She says: “Sometimes, the lawful owners of the artefacts do not have the resources to build climate-controlled environments, to conserve and restore old artefacts, to present exhibitions that attract large visitorships, or to fund scholarship on these artifacts.

“In this context, I would say that it should be an option for the museum to discuss having the artefacts stay on in a loan arrangement and perhaps to present these works jointly in public exhibitions or publications.”
- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/case-you-missed-it/story/sniffing-out-booty-20140214#2″

I am sure India has enough and more resources to take good care of its Gods and in the first place our Gods do not need climate controlled environments - our ancestors built temples as their abodes and they have lived there happily for thousand years until the greed of the greenback led a few astray souls to housebreak and rob them.

Its time Singapore follows the Australia model and returns the Uma. It is also pertinent that the ACM should be open and disclose the provenance of this Somaskanda as well - as of now they maintain that it is not bought from Kapoor / Art of the Past - its was bought in 2000 and in not disclosing the provenance it is hiding the identify of one more dealer / smuggler.

acm somaskanda

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 13:15 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Comments so far

Priyanka
  1  

Kudos! I have been reading about your contribution in the identification and successful return of the Ardhnarishwar on Chasing Aphrodite. I decided to visit your page and thank you. People like you give us hope.

April 22nd, 2015 at 10:35
  2  

[...] in India and Australia. Many websites devoted to antiquities scandals, like Chasing Aphrodite and Poetry in Stone, have also questioned Kapoor-related acquisitions in museums around the [...]

July 23rd, 2015 at 21:58
  3  

[...] in India and Australia. Many websites devoted to antiquities scandals, like Chasing Aphrodite and Poetry in Stone, have also questioned Kapoor-related acquisitions in museums around the [...]

July 23rd, 2015 at 22:24
  4  

[...] in India and Australia. Many websites devoted to antiquities scandals, like Chasing Aphrodite and Poetry in Stone, have also questioned Kapoor-related acquisitions in museums around the [...]

July 27th, 2015 at 22:24
  5  

goa honeymoon package…

Poetry In Stone « Blog Archive » Kapoor Files- Art of the Loot Part 19- The ACM Singapore Uma…

July 28th, 2015 at 12:51
  6  

development…

Poetry In Stone « Blog Archive » Kapoor Files- Art of the Loot Part 19- The ACM Singapore Uma…

July 29th, 2015 at 13:21
parasuraman
  7  

what happened to the other two nataraja idols stolen from suthamalli temple? any updates about their location?

March 13th, 2016 at 14:50
dhalavai sundaram
  8  

வணக்கம்,

நான் புதிய தலைமுறை பத்திரிகையில் பணிபுரிகிறேன். சிலை திருட்டு தொடர்பாக ஒரு ஸ்டோரி எழுதுகிறேன். இது தொடர்பாக உங்களுடன் பேச விரும்புகிறேன். உங்கள் எண் அனுப்ப முடியுமா? எனது மின்னஞ்சல் முகவரி dhalavai@gmail.com

June 17th, 2016 at 14:59
Sanjivan S. Lal
  9  

I am trying to contact Mr.VIjaya Kumar. Can you please help?

July 19th, 2016 at 12:51

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