Deal to cancel Gandhi auction fails

India rejects offer to halt the auction of Mahatma Gandhi's personal items.

    The auction has raised protests across India [AFP]

    Otis, who planned to sell the items to promote pacifism, said a preliminary deal had been reached hours before the auction was set to start on Thursday in New York.

    The collapse of the agreement may now force India to enter the auction.

    Gandhi's spectacles, a pair of worn leather sandals, a pocket watch and a brass bowl and plate were to be sold with an estimated starting bid ranging from $20,000 to $30,000.

    The final price, however, could be substantially higher.

    Opposition 

    The auction has raised protests across India, which have forced the government to try to bring the leader's items, considered the country's national heritage, back to his homeland.  

    Gandhi's family has also opposed the auction.

    Ambika Soni, India's culture minister, said the government would bid for the items and "offer whatever it takes".

    "The bottom line is to procure the memorabilia," Soni said.

    Mahatma Gandhi led India's peaceful independence movement against British rule and was assassinated in New Delhi in 1948.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The Coming War on China

    The Coming War on China

    Journalist John Pilger on how the world's greatest military power, the US, may well be on the road to war with China.