Nirav Modi’s assets to be auctioned; Gaitonde painting, Hermès bags on the block
Luxury cars, watches and other works by master artists will feature at Saffronart events being held in February and March on the direction of the Enforcement Directorate.Updated: Jan 22, 2020 19:20 IST
A selection of assets belonging to diamond merchant Nirav Modi — including paintings by master artists, as well as luxury cars, watches and handbags — are set to be auctioned by Saffronart on the direction of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), over the next two months.
On February 27, 15 artworks, two cars and a selection of the handbags and watches will go under the hammer at a live auction. Among them are a 1935 painting by Amrita Sher-Gil (on the block for the first time on record), and a canvas from MF Husain’s Mahabharata series, each with a lower estimate of Rs 12 crore and a higher estimate of Rs 18 crore. A 1972 painting by VS Gaitonde is estimated to fetch over Rs 7 crore and one of Krishna by Manjit Bawa, over Rs 3 crore.
Among the watches to be auctioned are a Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 Limited Edition and a Gerrard Perregaux Opera One. The bags are from Hermès’s Birkin and Kelly lines. The live auction will be followed by an online auction on March 3 and 4, which will float the other assets.
“We are working with the ED to assess and evaluate each item and put together the catalogue for both sales,” said Dinesh Vazirani, CEO and co-founder of Saffronart.
This auction comes a year after Saffronart auctioned 68 seized artworks on behalf of the Income-Tax department last March, raising Rs 54.84 crore from 55 lots; 13 went unsold.
Other auctions put 15 of Modi’s luxury cars on the block, last year, of which 13 were sold. The two unsold cars will be among those at the Saffronart auction in February.
Modi is the main accused in the Rs 23,780-crore Punjab National Bank fraud and money-laundering case. He fled India in early 2018, a month before the CBI registered a case against him. He was arrested in London in March last year and is currently in custody, amid an ongoing extradition trial.