CHENNAI: Four antique panchaloha idols stolen from temples in the State and displayed in art galleries in the United States have been recovered, sources in the Idol wing of the State police said.
According to sources, in 2008, miscreants stole two idols, one of Manikavasagar and another of Vinayakar, from Vikramangalam Sripuranthanar Koil in Ariyalur district.
Similarly, another 27 idols were taken away from the Varadarajaperumal Koil and Sundareswarar Koil near Udayarpalayam also in the same district.
Following a police investigation, officials found that the stolen idols were displayed at an art gallery in the city of Toledo in Ohio state of the United States.
After launching various vigorous steps, police managed to retrieve four idols.
Sources say the stolen idols are worth `11.50 crore.
They were produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Kumbakonnam on Wednesday.
The retrieved idols will be taken back to the temples they were stolen from.
“Until now, we have been focusing on the art galleries associated with the infamous art dealer and smuggler Subhash Kapoor. But there are about 100 art galleries in United States of America, with the total worth of all stolen idols exceeding `1,000 crore,” a source said.