Mahatma Gandhi blood sample up for auction in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Two microscope slides bearing the blood of former Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi are to go on sale in London on Tuesday, and are expected to fetch from £10,000 to £15,000 (S$19,000 to S$29,600).

The slides were obtained in 1924 when the father of the Indian independence movement was recovering from an appendectomy near Mumbai. He was thought to have donated the blood to the family he was staying with at the time.

"To Gandhi devotees, it has the same status as a sacred relic to a Christian," said Mr Richard Westwood-Brookes, a historical documents expert at auctioneers Mullock's, which is selling the item.

"It is an artefact which is revered by disciples of Gandhi, particularly in India, and therefore that is the sort of person who would go for it," he added.

The slides are part of a larger collection of items obtained by Mullock's, which include the former leader's sandals, shawl and bed linen.

Demand for Gandhi memorabilia has been steadily growing since Mullock's sold soil samples and blades of bloody grass, purportedly from the spot where Gandhi was assassinated in 1948, for £10,000 pounds last year.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.