On Monday, October 5, Germany returned to India a 10th century Durga idol. The idol in Mahishasuramardini avatar was stolen from a temple at Pulwama in Kashmir near 1990, after which an FIR was registered.

In 2012, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) came to know that the idol was spotted at the Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Germany.

When things started to smell too fishy, two ASI officials visited Stuttgart for the purpose last year. The government too took up the issue with the concerned authorities in Germany.

The role of notorious Indian art dealer Subhash Kapoor was suspected in smuggling the idol out of the country. Kapoor was arrested in Germany in 2011. Sources said the idol could have been procured from his (Kapoor’s) gallery ‘Art of the Past’.

“The statue is from Jammu and Kashmir and is a symbol of victory of good over evil,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi , while thanking Merkel and the people of Germany for returning the idol.