India's Supreme Court called Wednesday for a curator to be appointed to help manage and preserve up to $20 billion worth of ancient treasure discovered in the vaults of a Hindu temple.
The court, which is driving efforts to establish ownership of the sacks of gold, precious stones and jewellery found last week, asked for a list of possible candidates.
"We would like help to appoint a curator who will suggest ways to preserve the treasure," justice R.V. Raveendran told the court.
The court also instructed a seven-member team tasked with overseeing the discovery process to refrain from speaking to the media and asked that photos and videos be taken of the vaults.
The investigating team last week made the extraordinary discoveries of gold and silver, as well as a necklace six metres (18 feet) long, and have begun preparing an inventory of the haul.
All but one of the vaults have been opened, with the value of the haul estimated at between 500 billion and one trillion rupees ($11-22 billion).
The temple, dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu, was built hundreds of years ago by the king of Travancore and donations by devotees have been kept in the temple's vaults ever since.
The Supreme Court has been asked to rule on who owns the riches: either the trust that manages the temple, the former Travancore royal family, or the southern state of Kerala.