Taking strong exception to a UK trust's decision to auction 12 paintings of Rabindranath Tagore next month, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today asked the Centre to take necessary steps in bringing home the rare works.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said "The news deeply disturbed us. The Elmhirst collection of Tagore paintings is a priceless treasure of Indian culture and the government of India should take all necessary steps to bring them back to India," Bhattacharjee said.
The paintings, presented to Leonard Elmhirst by the poet himself, are supposed to go under the hammer at Sotheby's in London on June 15 with a pre-sale estimate of around 250,000 pounds.
The London-based Tagore Centre which looks after the poet's creative works has protested the decision to auction the paintings.
A spokesman for the organisation had said yesterday in London that he had urged the Indian High Commission to intervene.