India to bid for Gandhi’s letter at Christie’s

India to bid for Gandhi’s letter at Christie’s
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First Published: Sat, Jun 30 2007. 02 59 AM IST
Updated: Sat, Jun 30 2007. 02 59 AM IST
AFP
New Delhi: India plans to bid for a letter written by Mahatma Gandhi written shortly before his assassination that is scheduled to be auctioned in July in London.
The culture ministry has asked the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, which has bulk of Gandhi’s writings in its possession, to bid for the letter to be auctioned by Christie’s on July 3.
“We’ve received a communication from the culture ministry to bid for this rare letter of Gandhiji,” a museum official said.
In the letter written 19 days before Gandhi was shot dead on January 30, 1948 is reported to have written, “ It is wrong to ruffle Muslim or any other person’s feelings...” in the seven-page letter.
Gandhi, viewed as father of the Indian nation, was writing at a time of deep Hindu-Muslim tensions in India following independence from Britain in 1947.
The letter is part of a collection of letters by famous figures including Napoleon and Winston Churchill assembled by the late Albin Schram, a Switzerland-based collector.
Foreign affairs spokesman Navtej Sarna said India’s High Commission or embassy in London was “facilitating the modalities that may be involved” in seeking to buy the letter.
The letter for a magazine founded by Gandhi has been priced at approximately, $24,000 but experts believe bidding could go much higher.
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First Published: Sat, Jun 30 2007. 02 59 AM IST