An auction of mementos received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his official trips within the country has raised more than Rs 15 crore, Culture Minister Prahlad Patel stated on Tuesday.
Responding to a query in Rajya Sabha by BJP MP Rakesh Sinha on whether the mementos, gifts, etc presented to the PM from home and abroad have been auctioned, Patel said, “A total of Rs 15.13 crore has been received from the auctions of mementos, gifts, etc presented to PM from home.”
Since Modi became PM in 2014, three such auctions have been conducted by the Ministry of Culture, Patel added – in February 2015, January 27-April 1, 2019, and September 14 to October 24, 2019.
During the most recent round of e-auction, as many as 2,772 mementos were on the block, including daggers, pagris, paintings, shawls, and almost one thousand portraits of the Prime Minister done by various artists in different media.
Several portraits of the Prime Minister received the highest-value bids during the October auction. For instance, an acrylic painting of Modi and Mahatma Gandhi with a tri-colour background, with a base price of Rs 2.5 lakh, received a bid above Rs 25 lakh; while a photo of the PM with his mother received a bid above Rs 20 lakh.