Art News

India Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Treasure Brings Riches, Challenges and a Lot of Security

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (REUTERS.- A stream of bare-chested religious devotees step gingerly through metal detectors at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in southern India as armed commandos with AK-47s guard perhaps one of the world’s greatest treasures to surface in recent times. For months now, following a court order to prise open subterranean vaults sealed for centuries at the heart of sleepy Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of balmy Kerala state, shell-shocked experts have been coming to terms with the vast hidden hoard, estimated at one trillion Indian rupees, or $22 billion. In a nation where 500 million people are still mired in poverty, the find has been a revelation, stoking debate over how to best safeguard and use this newly discovered wealth at a time of financial uncertainty and modernization across