Vijay Mallya buys Gandhi memorabilia for 1.8m USD
March 6, 2009 Visionmp.com news service
Kingfisher Vijay Mallya dipped his beak into Gandhi memorabilia and pulled out some national pride for India at a cost of a whopping USD 1.8 million in New York on Friday morning (IST), the collection went under the hammer at a reserve price of between USD 20,000 to 30,000.
The auctioneers –Antiquorum – are expected to hand over the collection to Mallya in two weeks time.
Reports suggest the liquor baron would return the goods to the Government of India.
Bapu’s round wire-rim eyeglasses, a 1910 Zenith sterling silver pocket watch, a bowl and plate and a pair of leather sandals were on auction.
Mallya had earlier bid the highest to bring back home the famed sword of Sher-e-Mysore Tipu Sultan, the blade is said to have skimmed four crores off Mallya’s coffers.
The owner of the collection, James Otis, had earlier said he had decided take the items off the auction due to controversies dogging the sale.
“In the last few hours, I have decided, in the light of the controversy, not to sell Gandhi’s personal items.” Otis had said while speaking to reporters.