Auction of Nirav Modi's assets postponed; live auction on March 5

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 26, 2020, 11.31 PM(IST)

File photo of Nirav Modi. Photograph:( ANI )

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The sale of 112 assets is being done by Saffronart on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate through a live auction, while 72 other items would be sold through an online auction.

Rare paintings, exquisite wrist watches and luxury cars belonging to fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi will be auctioned next month, auction house Saffronart said on Wednesday.

The sale of 112 assets is being done by Saffronart on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate through a live auction, while 72 other items would be sold through an online auction.

Modi, who has allegedly defrauded state-run Punjab National Bank of over Rs 14,000 crore, is currently lodged in a British jail.

Saffronart, which had conducted an auction of some artworks belonging to Modi in March last year that fetched over Rs 55 crore, initially said there would be a live auction of 112 items on Thursday (February 27) and an online auction next week.

In a late evening statement on Wednesday, Saffronart said the live auction has been postponed to March 5 on "instructions from the Enforcement Directorate".

The online auction would be held as scheduled earlier on March 3 and 4.

A 1935 painting by Amrita Sher-Gil titled 'Boys with Lemons' is expected to be the biggest draw at the live auction and could fetch anywhere between Rs 12-18 crore. A 1972 piece from modernist M F Hussain is also expected to fetch a similar price, Saffronart said.

Other art pieces to be sold include works by V S Gaitonde, Manjit Bawa and Raja Ravi Varma, it added.

Rare timepieces, including a Jaeger-LeCoultre Men's 'Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2' Limited Edition Wristwatch that can fetch up to Rs 70 lakh, a Patek Phillipe 'Nautilus' Gold and

Diamond Wristwatch that is also estimated to fetch up to Rs 70 lakh, would also go under the hammer.

Among luxury cars, a Rolls Royce Ghost would be up for grabs and is expected to fetch up to Rs 95 lakh, Saffronart said, adding the car is ideal for long-distance travel.

The sale would also feature branded handbags, including from the iconic Birkin and Kelly lines by French luxury goods manufacturer Herms, which are expected to fetch up to Rs 6 lakh a piece.

There would be 72 items in the online auction, including a Porsche Panamera S car which could be sold for up to Rs 15 lakh, the auction house said.