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Concern over rising theft of antique idols in Odisha

At its annual State Conveners Conference state convenor and former DGP Amiya Bhusan Tripathy said the prevailing laws intended to prevent idol thefts and burglary are inherently ineffective. 

Published: 16th February 2020 12:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2020 12:00 PM   |  A+A-

Priests performing Pavitrotsavam to the processional idols of Lord Rama, His Consort Sita and his brother Lakshmana at Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple in Tirupati on Sunday

Representational image (File photo| Express)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:  The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has expressed concern over the rising cases of temple thefts from across the State.

At its annual State Conveners Conference state convenor and former DGP Amiya Bhusan Tripathy said the prevailing laws intended to prevent idol thefts and burglary are inherently ineffective. 

Stating that there is no database of the antiques, both stone and metallic idols in the around 22,000 ancient places of worship in Odisha, he demanded that a holistic national heritage protection policy and conservation mechanism should be put in place.

“More than 95 per cent of the antique idols in temples remain unregistered as the National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities remains incomplete,” he pointed out.

Heritage researcher Anil Dhir said Odisha has become a major hub for illegal idol exports as container shipment is facilitating their exit by sending the stolen items along with the recently made statues and idols.

During a survey in Prachi Valley region more than 300 valuable idols were found missing in different places, he said.

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