Chennai, September 5: An idol of Nataraj, stolen 62 years ago from Arulmigu Vedapureeswarar temple in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, has been found in New York, United States, the idol branch of CID announced on Monday.

Some thieves broke into the 2,000-year-old temple, administered by the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, and stole the idol Following a complaint from S Venkatachalam of Thiruvedhikudi village on September 1, the wing of the idol undertook the investigation and found the idol of Nataraj at the temple was fake and that the original was missing.

The investigative team sought original photographic images from the Indo-French Institute in Pondicherry, and after receiving the original image, the wing initiated a search of various museum websites, collectors’ brochures of artifacts and auction houses. After the search, the team found the original idol in the Asia Society Museum in New York. An expert, who was consulted, confirmed that the idol on the museum’s website was the original idol.

“Quick action is underway to recover the idol within the framework of the UNESCO agreement and restore it to the temple from which the idol was stolen,” an official statement said here. An investigation is also underway to see if other idols have been stolen from the temple.