India to ‘make all efforts’ to acquire Gandhi memorabilia

March 5th, 2009 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) India said it does not want to “commercialise and thereby demean” memories of Mahatma Gandhi and will “make all efforts possible” to acquire goods that once belonged to him and are to go under the hammer in New York later Thursday.
“The government does not want to commercialise and thereby demean the memory of the Father of the Nation and everything that he stood for in his life, beliefs and actions,” an external affairs ministry spokesperson said.

The spokesperson was responding to a question on the auction of the articles - a Zenith pocket watch, steel-rimmed spectacles, a pair of sandals and an eating bowl and plate used by Mahatma Gandhi.

The articles are to be auctioned by Antiquorum Auctioneers at 1.30 a.m. Friday India time. The collection has a reserve price of between $20,000 and $30,000.

“(The) government is continuing to make all efforts possible to ensure that the belongings are restored to their rightful owners, the Navjivan Trust, to whom the Father of the Nation had willed his movable and immovable personal belongings,” the spokesperson said.

“We are in touch with the person who is putting some of these items up for auction and are also looking at other ways of dealing with them,” the spokesperson said.

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