Roerich paintings' theft: Court writes to British home office

Thursday, 19 January 2012 16:34

A Delhi court has issued a letter rogatory to the British home office on a request from the CBI probing a case related to Russian painter Nicholas Roerich's two paintings allegedly stolen from here and presented to a London auction house.
Letter rogatory is a formal request from a court to a foreign authority for assistance.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav, in an order made available Tuesday, issued the letter rogatory with a request to allow the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct an investigation in that country.

The two paintings, titled Himalaya Kanchenjunga and Sunset Kashmir, were among the 13 painting of Roerich owned by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Pusa area in central Delhi.

The two paintings were found missing after May 30, 2009. Dean and joint director (Education) of IARI H.S. Gaur filed a complaint after the incident.

Accused N.S. Pakhale retired as head of library services at IARI May 30, 2009. Later, the two paintings were presented for auction to Sotheby's, London, by Zahid Nazir, a resident of Pakistan, and Rafay Nazir Khan, a resident of London.

The CBI submitted before the court that it was necessary to conduct investigation in Britain to collect evidence. (IANS)

New Delhi, Jan 17

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