Temple's Riches


The Lord's abode is in the news, because material treasures have been found in secret vaults under the temple precincts.
I can't help contrasting this event with the other incidents where treasure taken away from India have been merrily auctioned away.
If kings and chieftains elsewhere in India had also reposited / donated similarly, Indian history and civics and perhaps even geopgraphy would have been very, very different!
View this slideshow from a recent visit to Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple, this April.

"It is sad to see intricate jewellery and artefacts displayed in innumerable museums in the West when they should rightly be displayed at where they belong — our temples. How these treasures disappeared from India is narrated in Peter Watson's “Sotheby's: The Inside Story.” Let's hope that ruthless elements do not devour the treasures discovered in the vaults of the Padmanabhaswamy temple. We need to study the history of our country in its real glory rather than reading about it in history text books. The jewels should be displayed amid foolproof security just like the arrangements made for the Crown jewels in London...." says a writer to a newspaper.
About Peter Watson - An art journalist who "spent years investigating rumors that Sotheby's — along with Christie's, the hoity-toitiest auctioneering house — regularly sold artwork and artifacts that had been illegally exported from their mother countries. Sotheby's: The Inside Story traces Watson's sophisticated sting operations in Italy and India — complete with actors posing as art sellers, and Sotheby's higher-ups caught on hidden video cameras explaining their smuggling practices — that cast serious doubt on the auction house's denial of wrongdoing. ... Watson here elaborates his crusade against devious art dealing into a provocative, exhaustive, at times exhaustingly detailed account".
The author of Sotheby's: The Inside Story has also penned "The Medici Conspiracy" (read Exposing the Culture Theives)
Just today there was a mail message that says - "As soon as the first UPA government took charge, the Italian President was one of the first visitors to India. 15 agreements were signed without much publicity. One of the agreements stipulated that Italian companies be ‘consulted’ and allowed to manage all Indian archeological sites and antique stuff, with provision to take the stuff out of India if deemed necessary.... Sooner or later therefore, the Italians might step in in the matter of the Padmanabha treasures."

Scary!

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