600-yr-old Nataraj idol worth Rs 5 cr seized by Delhi Police

A 600-year-old Lord Nataraj idol worth over Rs five crore in the international market has been seized from two persons who were allegedly trying to sell it, the Delhi Police on Monday said.

Updated: May 10, 2010, 17:37 PM IST

New Delhi: A 600-year-old Lord Nataraj idol
worth over Rs five crore in the international market has been
seized from two persons who were allegedly trying to sell it,
the Delhi Police on Monday said.

Bhuwan Chand Joshi (54), a resident of Gurgaon, and
Pradeep (27) from Jhajhar in Haryana were arrested near Vikas
Sadan in south Delhi`s Kotla Mubarakpur yesterday on a tip
off.

Police recovered the antique statue of Lord Nataraj and a
car in which they were moving around to dispose of the idol,
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H G S Dhaliwal said.

The 19-inch statue weighing 15.5 kg is made of ashtadhatu
(eight metals) and worth more than Rs five crore as certified
by experts of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

It came to light during interrogation that the idol was
kept in the residence of Pradeep for several years and he and
his family were not aware that its value was over Rs five
crore.

"Sometime ago, Joshi visited Pradeep`s residence and after
noticing the idol told him that it is an antique piece. He
lured Pradeep to sell it.

"Pradeep picked up the statue without knowledge of his
family members and for the last 15-20 days, they were were
trying to sell it to a suitable buyer," Dhaliwal said.

A case under relevant sections of Antiquities and Art
Treasurers Act 1972 has been registered.

The idol was sent to the Archeological Survey of India
to find out its exact age, Dhaliwal added.

PTI