“Government has no legal rights over them”

Amid demands from several quarters to stop the auction of paintings of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in London, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave an assurance on Thursday that the issue will be examined but said the government has no legal rights over the rare works.

Dr. Singh, who chaired the first meeting of National Committee for Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Tagore, said the government would surely examine into the issue of bringing back the rare paintings.

‘No legal rights'

According to sources, Dr. Singh at the same time said the government did not have legal rights over the paintings.

Twelve paintings of Tagore, including a portrait of a woman with a fan, will go under the hammer at Sotheby's on June 15.

The paintings belong to the Dartington Hall estate in London's South Devon and have a combined pre-sale estimate of £250,000. Tagore had visited Dartington a number of times.

Apart from the paintings, it holds a huge archive of photographs, letters and other ephemera relating to Tagore.

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