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From Nirav Modi’s Art Collection, Two Oil Paintings Auctioned For Rs 36 Crore

The IT department had recovered the artworks after sealing Nirav’s properties and selected Saffronart to conduct an auction on their behalf, after a screening process that lasted a few weeks.

News18.com

Updated:March 26, 2019, 11:45 PM IST
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From Nirav Modi’s Art Collection, Two Oil Paintings Auctioned For Rs 36 Crore
The IT department had recovered the artworks after sealing Nirav’s properties and selected Saffronart to conduct an auction on their behalf, after a screening process that lasted a few weeks.

New Delhi: Absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi's 68 artworks fetched Rs 59.37 crore at an auction held by the income tax department at Mumbai’s JK Banquets on Tuesday evening.

One of the most prominent artworks in the auction included an oil on canvas painting Raja Ravi Varma, a 19th century painter considered among India's finest. The painting was sold for Rs 14 crore, Rs 2 crore higher than the estimated price. The bid for the artwork started at Rs 8 crore.

Executed in 1881, the oil on canvas depicts "The Maharaja of Tranvancore" and his younger brother welcoming Richard Temple-Grenville, the Third Duke of Buckingham.

An untitled oil on canvas by VS Gaitonde was sold for Rs 22 crore. The abstract artist painted the medium sized work in 1973.

In the second round of auctions, an untitled artwork by Jogen Chowdhury, whose bid started at Rs 12 lakh, eventually sold at Rs 46 lakhs.

The IT department had recovered the artworks after sealing Nirav’s properties and selected Saffronart to conduct an auction on their behalf, after a screening process that lasted a few weeks.

Auctioneers say the sale is the first of its kind in a country where tax authorities have usually auctioned property, gold and luxury items, but not art.

The 48-year-old Modi, whose diamonds have sparkled on Hollywood stars, is one of the prime accused in a $2 billion loan fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank. Modi denies the charges and believes they are politically motivated.

He was arrested in London last week and has been sent to police custody, after a court denied him bail. He will be in the judicial custody till March 29.

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