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Christie's withdraws Gandhi's letter from auction
July 02, 2007 18:16 IST
Last Updated: July 02, 2007 23:17 IST
The priceless manuscript of an article written by Mahatma Gandhi [Images] written just a fortnight before his assassination will not be auctioned in London [Images] on Tuesday so that the Indian government can acquire it.
"The Christie's have agreed to withdraw Mahatma Gandhi's manuscript from the auction to facilitate the Government of India to acquire it," Dr Amin Jaffar, International Director of the noted auction house Christie's said.
"We decided to have facilitating negotiations which have resulted in an important historical record returning to India," Jaffar said in a release signed by Mathew Paton of the Christie's press office.
The Christie's had earlier fixed a reserve price of 9,000 to 12,000 pounds for Gandhi's manuscript written on January 11, nineteen days before his assassination.
The article -- related to Urdu Harijan for his journal Harijan -- with a number of emendations and cancellations ran into seven pages.
Earlier, Indian High sources said they were in negotiations with the Christie's on the modalities of acquiring the manuscript on behalf of the Indian government.
Reports last week that the manuscript was going to be auctioned had triggered instant reaction in India with several Gandhians urging the government to immediately intervene and initiate steps to acquire the letter.
One of the options reportedly considered by the government was to bid for the document in the auction.