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Grab a slice of PM's gift pie as mementos up for auction

All proceeds from the NGMA event will go to the ‘Namami Gange’ scheme

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Grab a slice of PM's gift pie as mementos up for auction
Union Minister Piyush Goyal (left) and other visitors at an auction of mementos, presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the last few years, at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi on Sunday
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An Assamese japi gifted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha in 2016, a Buddha figurine gifted by Bihar's state ministry of road transport and water resources in 2017, as well as a metal sculpture of a cow and its calf presented by the Palanpur Amul Cheese Plant, are some of the mementos gifted to him over the years that went under the hammer on Sunday.

The proceeds of the auction — of the gifts received by the PM from domestic and foreign dignitaries — organised by the ministry of culture at the National Gallery of Modern Art will go to the government's flagship 'Namami Gange' scheme. Ministry officials told DNA that the details of the number of items sold and the proceeds from it will only be available on Monday.

Several union minister, including commerce, finance and railway minister Piyush Goyal, parliamentary affairs minister Vijay Goel, as well as MPs Manoj Tiwari and Meenakshi Lekhi visited the auction on Sunday. The auction was announced on Friday by union culture minister Mahesh Sharma, who added that over the next 15-20 days, around 1900 items were expected to be sold.

The two-day physical auction will culminate on January 28, after which an e-auction will take place from January 29-31 for the remainder of the items not sold. To that end, the ministry launched a website — www.pmmementos.gov.in, wherein items are divided by categories and range from Rs 500 to Rs 30,000. These include statues, photographs, paintings and articles such as angavastram, shawls, commemorative coins, traditional musical instruments, hats, pagris and jackets, etc.

"The bidders supported the cause wholeheartedly as certain items such as statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, base priced at Rs 1,000 was finally auctioned for Rs 22,000. Items such as statues of Gautam Buddha, portraits, photographs and paintings of Prime Minister, 3D painting of Gomukh (an origin of the holy river Ganga), Statue of Mahatma Basveshwara, Statue of Swami Vivekananda and a silver-coated Shivlinga were also auctioned at a high price," a release stated.

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