Culture Minister hands over Bronze idols of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Goddess Sita to Idol Wing of TN
Culture & Tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel handed over the Bronze idols of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Goddess Sita to Idol Wing, Govt of Tamil Nadu at a ceremony held in ASI Headquarters, Dharohar Bhawan in New Delhi.
Nov 19, Delhi: Senior officials from the Ministry of Culture, ASI and Government of Tamil Nadu were also present on the occasion.
Earlier, on 15th September 2020, these Bronze idols were handed over to High Commission of India in London by Metropolitan Police, London. As per the photo documentation done in 1958, these idols belong to the Sri Rajagopal Vishnu Temple (a temple built during the Vijayanagara period) in Anandamangalam in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu.
As per the investigation carried out by the Idol wing of Tamil Nadu police these idols were stolen from the Sri Rajagopal Vishnu Temple on 23/24 November 1978.
The bronze idols of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Goddess Sita are the masterpieces of Indian Metal Art and are 90.5 cm, 78 cm, and 74.5 cm in height respectively. Stylistically, these sculptures are dateable to the 13th century AD.
Briefing the media during the handing over ceremony, the Minister highlighted that under the able leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, total 40 antiquities have been retrieved from foreign countries to India since 2014 while only 13 such antiquities were retrieved prior to 2014 from 1976.
He congratulated the Archaeological Survey of India, Special Idol Wing, Government of Tamil Nadu, DRI and High Commission of India, London for their continuous efforts in bringing these idols back to the country.
The Minister also announced that as a part of the commemoration ceremony of 75th year of Indian Independence, the agencies/applicants working in the areas of Indian Independence Movement, the life of freedom fighters, Indian traditions, heritage and culture, tourism development and promotion and other issues relating to national importance will be exempt from payments of fees/charges for shooting/photography in different monuments of ASI ( except World heritage sites/ Iconic sites) during the period commencing from the Birth Anniversary of former Prime Minister Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 25th December 2020 to 15th August 2021. The applicants/agencies will need to apply online for permission to carry out such shooting activities.
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