A 1,000-year-old statue stolen from a temple in Baran district of Rajasthan in 2009 was recovered from New York port on April 16.
The statue was sold once by an international auction house with bases in London and New York despite the artifact having been added to the Interpol database of stolen artifacts.
The statue of two deities, belonging to the 11th or 12th century, was discovered at a temple in Baran, 290 km from Jaipur.
But it was stolen on September 19, 2009. Although police arrested four locals in November last year for the theft, the statue could not be recovered.
Just after the theft, Interpol’s National Central Bureau in New Delhi got the statue added to Interpol’s database of stolen artifact.
It was later located by historian Dr K Mankodi, who found on a website that the statue was soon to be auctioned again. By then, the statue was ready for shipment from New York to England.
Sayed Jamal Hasan of the Archaeological Survey of India’s Jaipur office said, “We were informed about the auction by Mankodi, who has written several books on the sculptures of Rajasthan.”
He said, “We informed the director general of ASI and approached the Interpol to stop the auction.”
The ASI provided the description of the statue and a copy of the FIR filed after the theft. The ASI is in touch with Interpol to bring back the statue.