The issue of national patrimony is gaining momentum as the Indian government tries to negotiate a purchase from auctioneers Antiquorum. In the context of the Chinese campaign against Pierre Bergé, India’s approach is decidedly more conciliatory. Though at $20-30,000, there’s much more room for a solution. The International Herald Tribune runs this AP report:
A New Delhi court issued an injunction Tuesday against the auction or sale of Gandhi’s belongings. The High Court order came on a petition filed by Navjivan, a public trust started by Gandhi in 1929, staking its claim over all his personal items.
Talks have taken place over the past several days between India’s Consulate General in New York and Antiquorum Auctioneers, Vishnu Prakash, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman, said Wednesday, but he did not provide details.
Last week, the great-grandson of Gandhi said he has launched a fundraising campaign to buy the collection.
Tushar Gandhi said selling the belongings of his great-grandfather — who had very few possessions — was “immoral” because “they belong to India and the people of India.”
James Otis, who claims to be a collector of Gandhi’s personal items, has “agreed to meet the Consul General of India in New York,” Prakash said.
The auction house said Gandhi is believed to have given the eyeglasses and their leather case to an army colonel who had asked him for inspiration, telling him they were the “eyes” that had given him the vision to free India.