Monday, 28 March 2016

Yet Another Kapoor Piece in Australian Museum?

Two 1000-year-old granite statues in Australian museums and both bought within a year of each other from Subhash Kapoor now seem to have been taken from the same ancient temple. The complex in question is the Virddhagireesvarar temple southwest of Chennai in Tamil Nadu southern India. This was identified in 2013 identified as the source of a granite sculpture of Ardhanarishvara, or Shiva with the bull Nandi, at the Art Gallery of NSW which had been bought for $300,000 in 2004.

Now a statue in the National Gallery of Australia is under scrutiny. This is a representation of the  goddess Pratyangira, or Lion Lady, Kapoor sold the 1.25m-tall carving to the NGA for $US247,500 in 2005. Representatives of the Archaeological Survey of India have inspected the statue after having obtained a picture of it in the temple and then been furnished with so-called robber pictures of it after it was stolen. The two appear to be the same, a formal request for its return has yet to be made.

Michaela Boland, 'NGA keeping mum on 1000-year-old Indian goddess statue', The Australian March 29, 2016

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