Govt to take legal course to prevent auction of Gandhi belongings

The govt is all set to take recourse to legal course to prevent Gandhi’s belongings going under the hammer.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: March 2, 2009 6:19 pm

With the US auction house not heeding to India’s request for stalling the auction of Mahatma Gandhi’s personal belongings on March 5,the government is all set to take recourse to legal course to prevent these five precious articles going under the hammer.

Though negotiations with the auction house in New York are still on,“we are seriously examining other means including legal action to stop the auction”,a top government official involved with the development said.

Culture Ministry officials on Monday met the senior Law Ministry officials to firm up the legal course of action,said the sources.

The Culture Ministry is closely coordinating with the Law and External Affairs Ministries to stall the auction of five Gandhi belongings,including his famous metal rimmed glasses,slated to be held in New York on March 5 and bring them back to the country.

There are five personal belongings of Gandhi in the list of auction proposed to be held on March 5 at the Antiquorum Auctioneers in New York including sandals,a pocket watch and some utensils.

According to sources,three out of five of these items belong to the Mahatma Gandhi family members who apparently have no objection to the auction.

The government today firmed up the plan to take legal action to ensure Mahatma Gandhi’s personal belongings do not go under the hammer in the United States this week and bring them back to the country.

“We are also having a meeting with members of India-American associations today in New York. In case the Antiquorum Auctioneers went ahead with auction,the associations’ members would try to acquire the items through the bidding process,said the sources.

“Our aim is to bring back these items to India for public display,” said the sources.

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