- The ASGSA confirms its Dancing Shiva was identified by Indian officers
- The ABC understands investigators have commenced the repatriation process
- The statue is the first antiquity India has claimed from 24 potentially problematic pieces identified by AGSA in 2014
Five years after suspicions were raised over the origins of the statue, Indian police this week linked it to a temple in the southern Indian city of Nellai, where a photograph shows it in place in 1958.
It is understood the bronze, bought in 2001 with $436,000 in donated funds and weighing 100 kilograms, was reported missing in July 1982.
Police opened an investigation but closed the case two years later without a perpetrator having been found.
The Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) was not named in the police statement but its acting director, Lisa Slade, confirmed the statue was the one identified by Indian officers.
The ABC understands Indian investigators have commenced the first stage of the repatriation process, set to be brokered by the federal governments of both countries.
New information recently led Indian police to re-open the case, with the Shiva one of four statues believed to have been taken by thieves who police allege entered the temple after breaking a lock on the door.
Ms Slade said AGSA had not been contacted by Indian police but would not challenge a repatriation claim.
The Dancing Shiva is the first antiquity India has claimed from 24 potentially problematic pieces identified by AGSA in 2014.