1818-make telescope seized from smugglers

The antique was seized when the two men, suspected to be members of an inter-state antique smuggling racket, were trying to sell the 192-year telescope for Rs 1.25 crore.
“After recovering the huge telescope, we had sent it to the state-run Orissa Museum in Bhubaneswar for verification. The officials in the museum certified that the telescope was made in the year 1818 and was used by the East India Company,” Rourkela SP Diptesh Patnaik told Deccan Herald on Wednesday.

Patnaik said during interrogation the two men—Mohammad Afroze, a resident of Biramitrapur near Rourkela and Amit Keshri of West Bengal— admitted that they had brought the telescope from Kolkata.

“We suspect that the telescope could have been stolen either from a Kolkata museum or from an individual antique collector,” the SP said.

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