Monday, November 13, 2017

FIR against ex-Air India official for painting theft

New Delhi: An FIR has been registered against a former executive director of Air India for allegedly stealing a painting by renowned artist Jatin Das, which was part of the airline’s collection, the police said on Sunday.

The FIR follows an internal inquiry conducted by Air India, which found that Rohita Jaidka, along with other unknown persons, stole the painting between 2004 and 2009.

The oil painting, titled ‘Flying Apsara’, was commissioned in 1991 by Air India and was on display at their office near CP, from where it was stolen. The theft came to light when Mr. Das, a Padma Bhushan awardee, wrote to Air India in June claiming the painting had gone missing and was available in the open market. The airline then launched an internal probe.

Mr. Das was alerted after art curator Pooja Acharya contacted him to verify the authenticity of the work. Ms. Acharya was in touch with the person to whom Ms. Jaidka allegedly tried to sell the painting. Ms. Jaidka then returned the painting to the airline headquarters “in a torn condition” from a fake address in Noida, according to the FIR.

The Air India also said Ms. Jaidka arranged a replica of the painting and claimed she was selling the copy and not the original. Air India, in its complaint, pegs the painting’s value at ₹25,00,000.
13/11/17 PTI/The Hindu