Even as the government sits on declaring a much-awaited policy on acquisition of items of historical value, another auction of items relating to India's heritage is being conducted by London-based auctioneer Mullock's.
Among the scores of paintings, artefacts and documents relating to Indian heritage, to be offered for bidding on September 27, will be a dinner plate of the Sikh kings - last used by Maharaja Duleep Singh. An 1828 painting depicting the death of great warrior Tipu Sultan will also be put up on the block.
The last effort on July 8, 2012, to acquire the Gandhi-Kallenbach papers involved intense negotiations between the Tel Aviv-based owners and the Union culture ministry.
The government had to finally concede to a very hard bargain. Teams had been set up to evaluate the items even as officials travelled from New Delhi to London to Tel Aviv, trying to clinch the deal.
On that occasion, the government reportedly took notice after one Giriraj Kishore convinced the government of the priceless value of the memorabilia related to Mahatma Gandhi.
"I sent two emails, one to the PMO and another to the President's Secretariat. A third letter was sent to Sonia Gandhi. I believe that my letter to Soniaji made a dent," Kishore told HT.