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Rare Idol of Lord Shiva Estimated To Fetch $3 Million in an Upcoming Auction

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, one of the world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary art, will deaccession antiquities and other historic works in a series of auctions at Sotheby’s over the course of 2007.

Highlighting the March 23rd sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Works of Art will be a Magnificent and Rare Granite Figure of Shiva as Brahma or Mahesha, Chola Period, circa 10th /11th century. The life-size sculpture, which entered the museum’s collection in 1927, is estimated to bring in the region of $3 million.

The present four-faced sculpture depicts Shiva as the omniscient deity from whom the two other great Gods, Brahma and Vishnu, are born. The iconography of this work is both fascinating and complex and depictions of the deity in the present form, particularly of this quality, are extremely rare.

Anu Ghosh-Mazumdar, specialist in Sotheby’s Indian and Southeast Asian Art Department said, “This work is without question the most important Indian sculpture ever to appear on the market. Three other examples of this deity, belonging to the same period, presently reside in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Detroit Institute of Arts, but the present work is arguably the best example of its kind.” (link)

Untouchables and non-Hindus are barred from some temples in India, which has similar idols. The very same idols adorn the mansions and hotels in West and there seems to be no problem.

Hindu idols are auctioned for millions of dollars and the Hindu community remains spectators. Some people unnecessarily fight to build temples but never think about brining back the lost treasures of Hinduism.