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Mallya wins Gandhi's spectacles in New York Auction

"I will always have the emotional satisfaction of having bought them and gifted them to the government of India," Mr. Mallya told an Indian television channel from France hours after the winning bid. Days of high drama over the auction of Gandhi's memorabilia in New York ended on a triumphant note for India as business tycoon Vijay Mallya put in a bid of $1.8 million, winning not only the five heritage items.

Gandhi's steel-rimmed spectacles, a pair of sandals, a Zenith pocket watch, an eating bowl and a plate were put under the hammer, as scheduled, by Antiquorum Auctioneers in New York Thursday despite an outcry by Indians, mounting Indian government pressure and even a reported change of heart on the part of the US collector to auction the items.

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