India’s top court halts temple treasure audit
India’s supreme court has temporarily stopped its inspectors from prying open the final vault of a centuries-old Hindu temple, officials said Friday.
The temple grabbed international headlines for its hoards of gold, gems and jewels believed to be worth billions of dollars.
Senior lawyer K.K. Venugopal, who is representing the trust that controls the famed Sree Padmnabha Swamy temple in the coastal state of Kerala, told CNN that the order came over issues of security and appraisal of the riches.
He explained that a curator needs to be appointed to determine the antique value of the artifacts. Some of them, he said, date back to the Napoleonic period.
The discoveries will also have to be filmed and catalogued in accordance with court directions, Venugopal added.