Thursday, February 08, 2018

Foreign couple detained with Vinayaka idol leaves for Lanka

Madurai: The foreign couple detained at Madurai airport on Monday with a Vinayaka idol that they had purchased in a shop in Kochi, said they were unaware about the idol's antiquity or otherwise. Despite the state idol wing police of CB-CID keen to detain them until the antiquity of the idol was ascertained, Bernard Peirre Georges, 74, a practicing physician and his companion Le Mevel, 60, both living in France, left for Sri Lanka on Wednesday evening. The two had to postpone their trip by two days but were permitted to leave by airport customs officials.
Georges and his companion Le Mevel were in India on a two-week tour. Their initial plan was to leave the country on Monday to spend a few days in Sri Lanka before flying back home. In an interaction with TOI, the couple said they unaware of the local antiquity laws.
"I was surprised when the customs officials stopped us saying the idol should not be carried. We were unaware of the law. We also never thought it was an antique idol," Bernard said.
"I know something about Hindu mythology and I like Ganesha. I bought it from the Kerala shop for 300 euros (approximately Rs 24,000) to decorate my home," Bernard said, adding that at least the Kerala trader should have informed them about the complications involved. But he did not say anything.
Bernard said he remained unperturbed by the "marathon questioning" by officials. He said he did not even inform his embassy as he had complete confidence in officials and in the Indian legal system.
Le Mevel said they were treated well by both the customs and police officials. The two-day delay, however, forced them to revise their itinerary and their travel expense as well.
08/02/18 Times of India

0 Comments: