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Shadows of Gods: an archive and its images

Abstract : This slim, richly illustrated coffee-table book chronicles the history of the photo archive of the French Institute of Pondicherry and the Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient. With more than 1,35,000 images, the archive is a unique resource for visual information about South India in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly its temple art. It is the photographic evidence from this archive that helped solve some high-profile cases of stolen antiquities in Tamil Nadu. The book recounts how the theft of Chola bronzes -- including a beautiful Nataraja statue -- took place in the villages of Sripuranthan and Suthamalli, how the statues eventually made their way to the foremost art galleries around the world through the elaborate smuggling channels set up by the New York based art-dealer Subhash Chandra Kapoor, and how the photo archive of the IFP/EFEO helped identify the statues and provide clinching evidence of their provenance.
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Contributor : Rajagopal Narenthiran <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 26, 2020 - 7:03:49 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 11, 2020 - 2:02:26 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02881705, version 1



Sricandane Gopinath. Shadows of Gods: an archive and its images. Gopinath Sricandane. Institut Français de Pondichéry / Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, 84 p., 2016, 978-81-8470-215-6. ⟨hal-02881705⟩



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