News Brief

Chola-Era Bronze Idol Of Dancing Krishna Returns To India From Bangkok, Was Stolen By Subhash Kapoor From Tamil Nadu

Nishtha Anushree

May 28, 2024, 01:03 PM | Updated 01:03 PM IST

Dancing Krishna bronze idol
Dancing Krishna bronze idol

A Chola-era bronze idol of Kaliya Narthana Krishna (Lord Krishna dancing on Kaliya Naag) has been brought back to India. It was stolen several years ago and has been recovered from Bangkok, Thailand.

The antique idol traveled from Subhash Kapoor to Douglas Latchford and from New York City to Bangkok. It was brought back by Idol Wing CID (IW-CID) of Tamil Nadu Police.

The rare variant of the bronze idol was handed over by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand and kept at the High Commission of India in Bangkok, before being brought here.

Indian embassy in Thailand played an important role in recovery of the idol that is valued around $3.5 million. The idol was traced through online articles that carried image of the antiquity.

There was an article titled 'Hold On to Your Hat’ by antiquities dealer Douglas Latchford, in which he mentioned collecting a Kaliya Narthana Krishna metal idol, The Hindu reported.

While the article was published in 2019, Latchford died in 2020, after which his daughter handed over the Dancing Krishna idol to Thailand fearing investigation by Indian and US authorities.

Co-founder of India Pride project, S Vijaya Kumar thanked Manhattan District Attorney office and Homeland Security for diligently following with Latchford’s daughter to secure the return.

The Director General of Police (DGP), Idol Wing CID Shailesh Kumar Yadav is planning to conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate legal action against all those behind the theft of the idol.

The idol is suspected to have been stolen from any of the temples in Tamil Nadu by Kapoor and his accomplices before 2005 and sold at around $6,50,000, as per documents.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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