New Delhi, February 10: A wooden replica of the Ashok Stambh fetched Rs 13 lakh and a Lord Shiva statuette sold for Rs 10 lakh, much higher than their base prices, at the fortnight-long auction of mementos received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his tenure. The fortnight-long auction, which came to a close on Saturday evening, was held to raise funds for the Centre’s flagship project ‘Namami Gange’ to clean and conserve the river Ganga.
The process took place in two parts – a physical auction organized at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) for two days in January and an e-auction through the website pmmementos.gov.in. Over 1800 mementos were successfully sold to the highest bidder during this period, according to the Prime Minister's Office. At the NGMA auction, a specially handcrafted wooden bike received a successful bid of Rs. 5 lakhs. Auction of Mementos Gifted to PM Narendra Modi at pmmementos.gov.in: Rs 5 Lakh Each For Painting, a Wooden Bike.
A similar bid was also received for a painting, which depicts Prime Minister Modi on a railway platform – a uniquely artistic interpretation of Narendra Modi’s special bond with the railways. Some spectacular bids were received during the e-auction as well.- A statuette of Lord Shiva, which had a base price of Rs. 5000/-, was auctioned for Rs. 10 lakh, which is 200 times the base price.-
A wooden replica of the Ashok Stambh, which had a base price of Rs. 4000/- was auctioned for Rs. 13 lakh.- A traditional “Horai”, received from Majuli, Assam, (a traditional symbol of the State of Assam - an offering tray with a stand), which had a base price of Rs. 2000/- was auctioned for Rs. 12 lakh.- A memento entitled “Divinity” received from SGPC, Amritsar, which had a base price of Rs. 10,000/- was auctioned for Rs. 10.1 lakh.- A statuette of Gautam Buddha, which had a base price of Rs. 4000/- was auctioned for Rs. 7 lakh.- A traditional brass statue of a lion, received from Shri Sushil Koirala, former Prime Minister of Nepal, was auctioned for Rs. 5.20 lakh.- A silver vase (Kalash) with embossing, with a base price of Rs. 10,000/- was auctioned for Rs. 6 lakhs.Many other mementoes fetched an auction value that is several times their base price.
Notably, this is not the first time that the Prime Minister has taken such move for a noble cause. Earlier, during his term as chief minister of Gujarat, he used to auction mementos received by him, so that the proceeds could go for the education of girl children. Continuing the same practice, he has now enabled the collection of funds which will help clean up the Holy River Ganga.