Shipping executive based in Singapore played key role in return of stolen Indian artefacts

Mr S. Vijay Kumar leveraged this vast network of contacts and Indian archives to track down dozens of stolen art. PHOTO: S. VIJAY KUMAR
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NEW DELHI - In 1971, a 10th century bronze statue of Nataraja - a symbol of the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer - was stolen from the Punnainallur Temple in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, the south Indian state.

Some five decades later, in 2018, Mr S. Vijay Kumar, began tracking it based on a tip from another art aficionado. The 48-year-old Indian national was then working as a shipping executive in Singapore.

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