E-auction of PM's mementos ends

Painting of Modi and Gandhi receives highest bid of Rs 25 lakh

In this undated photo, a view of a painting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. The exhibition cum e-auctioning of mementos received by PM Modi drew to a close on Friday with the highest bid of Rs 25 lakh for a painting of the PM with Mahatma Gandhi. (PTI Photo)

The exhibition-cum-e-auctioning of mementos received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew to a close on Friday, with the highest bid of Rs 25 lakh for a painting of the PM and Mahatma Gandhi, a statement from the government said.

The proceeds from the e-auction will be donated towards funding the Namami Gange Mission.

The Union culture ministry organised the e-auction from September 14 to sell 2,772 mementos gifted to the prime minister.

The items were kept on display at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here and included memorabilia, paintings, sculptures, shawls, jackets and traditional musical instruments.

The e-auction was supposed to be held till October 3. However, a decision was taken to extend the process for another three weeks. As of today, all items on auction stand sold-out.

Celebrities, politicians and activists have shown interest in the auction, with Bollywood stars, including actors Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor, and singer Kailash Kher, endorsing it.

The lowest base price was kept at Rs 500 for items like a small statue of Lord Ganesha and decorative wooden box in lotus shape.

The highest base price of Rs 2.5 lakh was reserved for an acrylic painting with a tri-colour background of the prime minister and Mahatma Gandhi, which has received a final bid of Rs 25 lakh.

A framed photograph of the prime minister receiving blessings from his mother, with a base price of Rs 1,000, has received a bid of Rs 20 lakh.

Other popular auctioned items include an exhibit of Manipuri Folk Arts, which had an original base price of Rs 50,000, but sold for a bid of Rs 10 lakh.

A metallic sculpture of a cow feeding a calf, with a base price of Rs 4,000, sold for a bid of Rs 10 lakh and a metallic 14-cm statue of Swami Vivekanand, with a base price of Rs 4,000, received a final price of Rs 6 lakh.

Neither the Culture Ministry nor the NGMA could provide details about the painting or about who gifted it to the prime minister.

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