Otis offers to loan Gandhi’s blood sample, ashes to India

March 5th, 2009 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, March 5 (IANS) The US collector of Gandhi memorabilia has offered to loan India a sample of Mahatma Gandhi’s blood from his assassination site and ashes from his cremation if New Delhi agrees to sponsor a world travelling exhibition.
James Otis, whose collection of five items including Gandhi’s iconic watch is set to go under hammer Thursday unless a last minute agreement is reached, has also added a blood report of Gandhi from Irwin Hospital (now Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan Hospital) in Delhi and a signed telegram the Mahatma had sent to students congratulating them on their peaceful struggle.

The offer was made Wednesday night to the Indian Consulate General in New York hours ahead of Thursday’s planned auction by New York auction House Antiquorum Auctioneers.

Mahatma Gandhi’s silver Zenith pocket watch (circa 1910-1915) is expected to attract significant interest. The pocket watch belonged to Gandhi, who later gave it to his grandniece Abha Gandhi, his assistant of six years, and in whose arms he died.

Also offered as part of the same lot are Gandhi’s sandals, glasses, bowl, plate and letters of authenticity.

The sandals were given to a British army officer in 1931 prior to the Round Table talks in London that were held to discuss self-rule for India. The bowl and plate were given by Gandhi to his grandniece are also for sale.

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