‘We’re fed up with scary dreams’: thieves return temple treasures in India (The Guardian)

The Guardian: ‘We’re fed up with scary dreams’: thieves return temple treasures in India. “Last week, the group stole 16 statues from a 300-year-old temple to Lord Balaji – an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu – in Uttar Pradesh, police inspector Rajiv Singh told Agence France-Presse. On Monday night, they left 14 of them near the house of the temple’s chief priest in Chitrakoot district, he said. ‘They also left behind a confession letter which said they were returning the idols because they were having scary dreams,’ Singh said. The note begged for forgiveness.”

Bloomberg: India’s Hindu Temples Use ‘God’s Gold’ to Pay Pandemic Bills

Bloomberg: India’s Hindu Temples Use ‘God’s Gold’ to Pay Pandemic Bills. “Hindu temples hold as much as 4,000 tons of the precious metal, according to the World Gold Council, a stockpile as big as Fort Knox’s and administered by trusts empowered by Indian law to act on behalf of the deity. The Travancore Devaswom Board, a prominent temple association in the southern state of Kerala, has for the first time decided to deposit some of its treasures with banks—which pay interest on gold deposits of varying terms—to raise funds and pay salaries, according to the board’s president, N. Vasu.”

China Focus: Digital technologies preserve cultural heritage in China (Xinhua)

Xinhua: China Focus: Digital technologies preserve cultural heritage in China. “Researchers are using 3D scanners to collect data about the size, color and structure of the Nanchan Temple on Wutai Mountain in northern China’s Shanxi Province. They plan to create a digital archive for the temple, which is the oldest extant wooden building from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) in China.”

BBC: India man jailed for tweets about erotic temple statues released

BBC: India man jailed for tweets about erotic temple statues released. “An Indian man has been released from prison after more than a month, for posting satirical tweets about erotic sculptures in a temple. In September, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, posted a video in which he makes disparaging comments about the famous Konark temple in the eastern state of Orissa and the people of the state.”

Tamil Nadu Will Make Database of Temple Assets

The government of Tamil Nadu (India) will create a database of the movable and immovable assets of its temples. “Tamil Nadu government today proposed to create database of movable and immovable assets of the temples in the state as part of its series of initiatives in the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department. The Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said such assets of temples include metal and stone idols besides land and buildings.”