India Keen To Reclaim Gandhi's Specs - NBC New York

India Keen To Reclaim Gandhi's Specs

Freedom fighter's trademark glasses among items to be auctioned off in NYC

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    India Keen To Reclaim Gandhi's Specs
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    Gandhi's round wire-rimmed glasses were among the slain anti-colonial hero's trademarks. India is trying to reclaim the artifact from a New York auction house.

    Indian authorities are hoping to stop the sale of slain anti-colonial leader Mahatma Gandhi's iconic wire-rimmed glasses which are set to be auctioned off in New York City next week.

    The thin frame round spectacles, a trademark accessory of the father of non-violent resistance, are among several personal items including modest sandals and a silver Zenith pocket watch that are expected to fetch up to $30,000 once Antiquorum Auctioneers put them under the hammer, according to CNN.

    "The government will be doing whatever is required to get them back," India's culture ministry secretary Jawhar Sircar told CNN.

    Sircar would not say if India will formally bid on the items that are being put up on March 4th and 5th at the Madison Avenue auction house, but indicated that there were several options being considered.

    Another culture ministry source told Agence France-Presse that one option would be to ask that the artifacts be withdrawn so that the Indian government could buy them. Another idea would be to ask Indians living in the U.S. to buy them and donate them to museums in India.

    Gandhi's great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi, who has made public appeals for money to buy back the treasures, told AFP he felt encouraged by the government's initiative.

    "I'm overjoyed the government has finally woken up to its responsibility," he said. "My objective was that these things which rightfully belong to India come back to India."

    Gandhi lead India's movement against British colonial rule with a doctrine of non-violence. Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic in 1948 - a year after he secured the south Asian nation's independence.