Friday 28 February 2014

Mystery of the colour changing Nataraja

On the Poetry In Stone blog, an interesting question is raised. Were Kapoor's Chola bronzes given an artificial patina, and if so, where and why? (Kapoor Files- Art of the Loot Part 14- Mystery of the color changing Nataraja, 27th February).  The story is illustrated by photographs of the colour change. After the theft, the   Sripuranthan Nataraja was a coppery colour, it had been kept indoors and curated to prevent oxidation. The item Kapoor wanted to sell could not look like it had been recently ripped off in a temple, so had to have a patina applied. The object in the National Gallery of Australia now has a greenish patina while the matching Sivagami (also obtained by Kapoor) for some reason remains a metallic colour. Where was this patina applied, by whom and for what purpose?

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