There around 1,800 gifts that will be auctioned on Sunday and Monday, including 100 turbans and a wooden bike.
New Delhi: From a wooden bike worth Rs 40,000 to Rs 100 pagadis (turbans), select gifts and memorabilia presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he assumed office in 2014 are up for auction.
This is the second such auction held under Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister, with the first reportedly fetching Rs 8.3 crore in 2015. The items on sale then included the Prime Minister’s infamous monogrammed suit, which sold for an estimated Rs 4.3 crore.
The fresh auction, to be held Sunday and Monday, will be conducted by the National Gallery of Modern Arts (NGMA) in New Delhi.
The proceeds from the sales will go to Namami Gange, the Union government’s flagship mission for the conservation and rejuvenation of the river Ganga, as they did the last time.
“PM Modi is the first politician to give away the gift items he has received from the public back to the public, and that too for such a good cause,” NGMA director Adwaita Gadnayak said. “Politicians receive a lot of gifts, but no politician has done this before.”
‘Lot of curiosity & excitement’
Around 1,800 items received by PM Modi as presents have been given to the NGMA by the PMO, along with a price list.
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While most of these gifts were received by the PM within India, a few came from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal.
“There is a minimum price on the gifts, but during the auction, it will obviously go up since people will have an emotional connection with these items because of the PM,” Gadnayak said. “Already, there is a lot of curiosity and excitement for the auction among people.”
The NGMA, which falls under the Union Ministry of Culture, is organising the auction in collaboration with Saffronart, a renowned auction company.
“We, at the NGMA, don’t have experience or expertise in auctions, that is why we brought in Saffronart to guide us with the auction through a memorandum of understanding,” said Jyoti, a curator at the NGMA.
While there would be a live auction at the NGMA on 27 and 28 January, it will be followed by an e-auction in the subsequent days.
In October last year, the NGMA had organised an exhibition of the gifts given to Modi, which included his painted and wood-carved depictions.
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