BANGALORE: Hand over the property of world-famous taxidermist Edwin Joubert Van Ingen to his adopted son Michael Floyd Eshwaer, the High Court directed the state on Thursday.
Justice S N Satyanarayana passed the order on a petition filed by Eshwaer, alleging that the police and some of Ingen’s former employees, including his private secretary, were trying to usurp the property. He gave the government 24 hours to comply with the order.
The court also handed over the case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and directed it to file a report within six months.
Ingen (101) died in March last year in Mysore. Eshwaer said Ingen had adopted him through a registered deed in 2006 and staked a claim to his property.
According to Eshwaer, Ingen had gifted him a 220-acre coffee estate in Wayanad district of Kerala, and before that, had bought a house worth `75 lakh in Nazarbad in 2005.
The Nazarbad police, Eshwaer alleged, had filed a false complaint against him, accusing him of forging documents and grabbing Ingen’s properties.
Inspector Mohan and retired Deputy Commissioner of Police Basavaraj S Malagatti tried to usurp the property by registering a false complaint, Eshwaer had complained. Ingen, who owned property worth about `300 crore, had learnt his work from his father, a legend in the business. He had worked for the Mysore Maharajas and created hundreds of wildlife trophies.
Ingen and Eshwaer used to argue and had filed complaints against each other, but the police had registered neither. After Ingen’s death, the police registered Ingen’s complaint against his son and allegedly started harassing him.
Edwin Ingen was the last member of the Van Ingen family, which established a taxidermy business in Mysore in the 1890s. Their company, called Van Ingen and Van Ingen, was ranked among the world’s most highly regarded taxidermy businesses, and had stuffed about 43,000 tiger and leopard trophies over 90 years. The company’s work is found across the world today. After the 1960s, when hunting bans came into effect, its business declined.
What Is Taxidermy?
Taxidermy is the art of stuffing animals for display or study. Taxidermists are expected to know anatomy, sculpture, painting and tanning. The princes in Mysore would hunt and have their prey mounted as trophies.