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Idols of Hindu Gods and Sculptures to auctioned by Christie’s in September 2008

Christie’s, one of world’s leading art business and a fine arts auction house, is auctioning several idols of Hindu gods and sculptures, stone works, miniatures at its auction of artworks in New York on September 16, 2008. The idols on sale range from the 1st century BC to 18th century AD. Bronze figure of Shiva as Nataraja, Vishnu, Skanda (Muruga), Ganesha, Goddess Durga, Goddess Ambika, Goddess Parvati, Kamadeva and idols of numerous other deities and paintings are part of the auction. Around 85 idols and paintings related to Hinduism will be auctioned by Christie’s on the day.

Most of these idols were stolen from India during the British rule and some after independence.

What is baffling is that nearly 60 Hindu idols and around 15 paintings of ancient India is going to be auctioned and there is not even an attempt from any quarters in India to get back these priceless idols and artifacts.

The costliest is Shiva Nataraja of Chola Period (975 AD), estimated at 1.5 million dollars from Tamil Nadu. ($1,000,000 - $1,500,000)

Some of the other prominent idols on sale are:

Stone figure of Skanda - Swat Valley or Kashmir, 6th/7th Century estimated price is $8,000 - $10,000

A green schist figure of Shiva and Parvati - Kashmir, 7th Century estimated price is $15,000 - $20,000

A terracotta plaque of Kamadeva India, Chandraketugarh, 1st Century. Bc-1st Century. AD $6,000 - $8,000

A rare mottled red sandstone figure of Ganesha India, Mathura, Kushan period, 3rd century - $30,000 - $50,000

A Blackstone stele of Shiva Andhakarimurti Northeastern India, Pala Period, 11th Century - $40,000 - $60,000

A black schist stele of Radha and Krishna India, Rajasthan or Gujurat, 14th/15th Century - $60,000 - $80,000

These above idols are just a few picked from nearly 60 idols. 

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