Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ghandi's Glasses

The Indian government is protesting the auction of some of Gandhi's possessions, including his trademark glasses. Since the sale was first announced this month, Gandhi's great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi, has solicited donations to buy the items on behalf of India. He has also called on the government for assistance in blocking the sale and criticized descendants of Gandhi and of his acquaintances who had previously sold the items to collectors.

The items, which include Gandhi’s round glasses, sandals, pocket watch, and some dishes. The bidding is set to begin on today at Antiquorum Auctioneers, assuming no agreement is reached beforehand.

A special Indian government committee has met twice and submitted recommendations for the return of the items. Such committees have generated results in the past: In 2007 the Indian culture ministry was successfully able to negotiate the return of a letter written by Gandhi shortly before his death from Christie's.

In the wake of a campaign to stop the sale, Tushar Gandhi, the civil rights leader's great-grandson, is also calling for the return of other treasures to India, including the Koh-i-noor diamond in Britain.

The 105-carat diamond originated in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The diamond may have been discovered as much as 5000 years ago. It was seized by the East India Company and presented to Queen Victoria around 1850.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Support the movement for the retrieval of Gadhiji's belongings by voting here.