Man held for smuggling antique Nataraja idol


Chennai: A 53-year-old man from Palakkad, Kerala, was arrested for trying to peddle an antique idol of Nataraja in Coimbatore by Idol Wing sleuths.The arrested man was identified as H Sivaprasad Namboothiri of Kalladathur, Palakkad.He allegedly attempted to peddle an antique idol of Lord Natarajar through a broker for Rs 8 crore a month ago. Idol Wing sleuths posed as possible buyers and arranged a meeting at Coimbatore when the idol was seized from him.The seller divulged that the idol was more than 300 years old and that he was willing to sell it for Rs 8 crore.During the enquiry, Sivaprasad Namboothiri confessed that due to family needs, he decided to sell the above-said Natarajar idol through a broker. To materialise the sale, the family had prepared some documents as well which were seized during the operation, Idol Wing officials said.The seller could not produce any documents to establish the provenance of the idol and the provenance of the idol. Hence, going by the version of the idol owners, the idol could have been stolen long ago from any one of the temples in Tamil Nadu. The guilty seller offered no resistance to the Idol Wing personnel.