India

PM mementos auction date extended once again

PM mementos auction date extended once again

The auction of 2,772 mementoes received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his official trips across the country has now been extended till October 24. This is the second time the auction date has been extended.

Initially, it was supposed to end on October 3 but was extended till October 17. Almost a month into after the e-auction, a range of angavastrams and sketches gifted to the PM haven’t received a single bid so far on the auction website, pmmementos.gov.in.

Officials at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), where some of these objects such as shawls, jackets, portraits, swords and headgears, have been put on display, say all the unauctioned objects from the current round will be put up for auction during the next edition.

The Ministry of Culture aims to hold such auctions every six months.

Meanwhile, several items that received very high bids earlier but remained unclaimed have been put up for reauction.

A silver kalash (urn) with a coconut on top — which was gifted to Modi by Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani — had received a bid of Rs 1 crore last month. The object, with a base price of Rs 18,000, was later put up for reauction.

Apart from the kalash, another item that received a bid above Rs 1 crore (Rs 1,00,00,100) was a photo stand of the PM, with a message from him in Gujarati, and had a base price of only Rs 500. Even this object has been put up for reauction.

While the first item has received 37 bids till Friday evening, with the highest quoted price going up to Rs 1 lakh, the latter has clocked in the highest bid of Rs 1,400.

Sources in the Ministry of Culture told The Indian Express, “We had written to the claimants and given them two days to make the payment, and since no response was received from them, the items were put up for auction again.”

They added that besides the bidders not making payments, other reasons for cancellation of bids may be “outrageous or invalid bids”, adding that “a process was later put in place to weed out exaggerated bids and only up to several times the base price will be allowed”.

As of now, high-value bids have been received for several portraits of the PM.

An acrylic painting done on two panels of the Prime Minister and Mahatma Gandhi with a tri-colour background, with a base price of Rs 2.5 lakh, has received a bid above Rs 25 lakh, while a photo of the PM with his mother has received a bid above Rs 20 lakh.

The framed photograph was received from Ashish Gupta, Siliguri, and has a base price of merely Rs 1000.

A woven portrait of Modi, along with the Indian Flag, gifted to him by couturier and owner of Seematti textiles, Beena Kannan, with a base price of Rs 2.5 lakh, has received a bid for Rs 3.76 lakh.

The base price of this year’s objects ranges from Rs 200 to Rs 2.5 lakh.

The proceeds of the ongoing e-auction will go to the Namami Gange project. The e-auction is open to all.

In January, more than 1,800 gifts received by the PM were sold in a fortnight-long exercise, which saw the participation of 4,000 bidders offline and online.