Two arrested while trying to sell antique idol


New Delhi: Two people who tried to sell an antique idol of Lord Nataraja, said to be 600 years old, were arrested in Kotla Mubarakpur area of south Delhi Sunday, police said Monday.

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Bhuwan Chand Joshi, 54, and Pradeep, 27, were arrested after police received a tip-off about their attempts to sell the idol of the Lord of Dance, which reportedly belonged to Pradeep.

“Secret information regarding an antique statue was received by police and a special police team formed to conduct a raid Sunday,” a senior police official said.

According to police, the idol, weighing 15.5 kg, is said to be made of “ashtadhatu”, a combination of eight metals and is estimated to be worth more than Rs.5 crore. It has been certified as genuine by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), where it was sent by police for ascertaining its exact age.

During interrogation, it was found that the idol was kept in Pradeep’s house for several years but he was not aware of its value.

“Some time ago, Joshi visited Pradeep’s residence and after noticing the idol, convinced Pradeep to sell it at a high price. For the last 15-20 days, both were trying to dispose off the idol to a buyer,” the police official further said.

Police have registered a case under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 against the two.