Mumbai body to display Gandhi memorabilia in private museum
New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) Blades of grass and soil pigmented with blood of Mahatma Gandhi and retrieved from the place of his 1948 assassination along with other key memorabilia auctioned at a sale in England is now being brought back to India by a Mumbai-based arts body that plans to display it in an upcoming private museum here.
The Kamal Morarka Foundation for the Arts (KMFA) announced today that it had successfully bid to acquire the key Gandhi memorabilia at the April 17 sale by Mullock's, a Shropshire-based auctioneer. The items bid for included one of his early pairs of iconic spectacles (34,000 pounds), a famous wooden 'charka' he personally used (26,000 pounds, a prayer book signed by Gandhi (10,500 pounds), a wooden casket containing soil and blades of grass pigmented with Gandhi's blood (10,000 pounds), along with several letters and other documents pertaining to Gandhi's life.
"It is not the intention of the KMFA to re-sell such objects but to bring back to India, so as to share with our people, these important heritage artifacts that have eluded us for long by being kept in private hands outside of India," said Kamal Morarka in a statement here today. These items will be exhibited as property of India by way of travelling exhibitions nationally and globally through various museums, starting with soon to be inaugurated museum Osianama here. The artifacts will be displayed at Osianama commemorating India's 65th year of independence, he said. Meanwhile, when contacted officials at the UK auctioneers said the purchase was done by the buyer through someone in London, but cited company policy in refusing to confirm whether it was sold to the Morarka Foundation.