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Posts Tagged ‘Shiva’

With the HR&CE and temple authorities continuing to be lax in their documentation, this expose shows again the importance of photo documenting our temple treasures.

Little did I realise that this innocuous looking book held within itself a vital clue.

South-indian images of gods and goddesses (1916)

available for free download here

page 109 in the book ( 129 in the pdf) has this photograph of a Somaskanda

book

The label simply states Somaskanda ( metal), sivankudal

038

This is a very unique somaskanda wherein the Siva and Uma have been cast seperately with indivudual pedestals. For those who know about bronze casting, the difficulty of such an attempt is evident - having to match the pedestals not only for height but also for the runner designs.

Thankfully this provides us some vital clues in identifying this bronze, which is currently in the Asian Civilisations Museum being purchased in the year 2000.

museum catalogue
acm somaskanda

Let us compare the two

ss
shiva
uma
skanda
antelope
uma attributes n hands
uma face n ornaments
shiva face n ornaments
pedestal

It is without doubt the same bronze. Further our enquiries have revealed that the temple has no other bronze currently - ie has lost all its treasures. The Book sadly has no other bronzes listed from this temple and from our checking no other book has any references to this temple. It is sadly an ASI protected site with no documentation.

Now, its up to the authorities to investigate this and establish the chain. But if this is confirmed it pushes the string of robberies to pre 2000 and many more temple bronzes and sculptures sold by the dealer into the ambit of “shady” dealings.

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It has been quite sometime since the world was made aware of the theft of the bronzes and the involvement of accused Subash Kapoor and the gallery Art of the Past. The proverbial tip of the iceberg was this Nataraja and thanks mainly to efforts of blessed souls across the world.. While there has been nothing new that has come up on this case from the authorities and same rhetoric from the gallery.…we now have further evidence to show that his consort is languishing in America.

Here is the file photograph of them together as a couple in their abode in Sripuranthan.

idol_wing
nataraja and sivakamasundari

We had earlier shown the proof on the Nataraja and now thanks to a generous reader we have accessed to the Art of the Past galleries 2008 catalogue which reveals shockingly indepth details of the bronze including a flowery writeup. You cannot but notice that the residual marks on her face and cheeks explicitly imply that she was a bronze under continuous worship !!

artofpast2008
uma_sripuranthan
artofpast2008_2
artofpast2008_1

A simple comparison reveals that both are the same

compare1
compare_match
face_ornamentation
base_pedestal

This is the same bronze that was displayed when America customs displayed their catch in the news conference post the raids on the Art of Past gallery warehouse.

121205newyork_lg

This should be more than adequate proof to seek the return of this bronze back to India ! and hopefully reunite the divine couple.

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