India launches Gandhi sale move
Gandhi's simple lifestyle inspired a generation of Indians
India has taken steps to prevent Mahatma Gandhi's personal possessions being auctioned next month in New York, reports from India say.
A culture ministry official is reported by India's leading news agency to have asked the owners of the belongings to offer them to the government first.
The owners include the daughter of one of Gandhi's nieces.
She authorised a German collector to sell the items through the Antiquorum auction house in the US.
"Whatever can be done is being done to ensure that articles are not auctioned... involving all concerned stakeholders," Culture Minister Ambika Soni told the Press Trust of India news agency.
MPs say all efforts should be made to retrieve the articles
The ministry is reported to have approached the various owners of Gandhi's belongings to ask them to withdraw the items from the auction so the government can buy them.
Another reported option is for the government to ask US Indians to buy the items and donate them to India so that they can be placed in a national museum.
A special government committee is working on how to reclaim the pieces, which have an estimated value of between $20,000 and $30,000.
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