FIR lodged for theft of Jatin Das painting
New Delhi: An FIR has been registered against unidentified persons for allegedly stealing a painting of renowned artist Jatin Das which was part of the airline's collection, the police said. Police claimed that they suspect the role of an insider in the case as no locks were found broken from the place where the painting was stolen. An internal inquiry team was set up after the Padma Bhushan awardee had complained to the airline.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) BK Singh told Millennium Post that they have registered a case in this regard and have started their investigation.
Police sources claimed that they were probing role of some insiders. The issue of the stolen painting came to light when Das, a Padma Bhushan awardee, wrote to Air India in June claiming that one of his paintings had gone missing and was available in the open market. Das prompted the airline to launch an internal probe.
The painting is titled 'Flying Apsara'. After the incident came to light, the painting was returned to the airline headquarters "in a torn condition" from a fake address. The "missing" painting had miraculously resurfaced. A mysterious package arrived at the head office in New Delhi a week after Das raised a stink about the missing painting. This unnamed package contained the same said painting that Das had made for Air India. It was rolled up and delivered in a damaged condition. The airline's team immediately tried to trace back the sender. The courier, unfortunately, had been sent from an address in the package that turned out to be fictitious.
Air India's art collection includes stone sculptures dating back to the ninth century, woodwork, decorative friezes, and a collection of exquisite clocks. But the most prized in its collection are some of the nearly 4,000 paintings that include works by stalwarts such as M F Husain, S H Raza, V S Gaitonde, K A Ara, Anjolie Ela Menon, Arpana Caur and B Prabha.