It was an auction that nearly didn’t take place as the Californian seller James Otis announced he had had enough of the controversy being generated by the sale of a number of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s personal effects. The Indian government had expressed anger over the sale of the national treasures which included Gandhi’s trademark, round metal spectacles (pictured below), leather sandals, a pocket watch, and a metal bowl and plate from which the Indian independence leader ate his final meal before he was assassinated in 1948. Some of India’s richest men, and their representatives were present at the New York auction, hoping to rescue the national treasures, which eventually sold for $1.8 million to billionaire businessman Vijay Mallya – India’s seventh-richest man, who plans to return the items to his homeland. His agent said “He was bidding for the country”. The items will now return to India where it is hoped that they will go on public display, but ultimately that is for Dr Mallya to decide.