Issue #121  3/15/2007
Cartier-Bresson Collection of Gandi Assassination and Aftermath Sold

According to today's Art Newspaper, Neville Tuli, owner of Osian’s auction house in Mumbai, India has bought a collection of 45 vintage silver print photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson taken before and just after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Cartier-Bresson was introduced to Gandhi on January 30, 1948 and was with him just before he was shot. He then photographed the aftermath of the assassination, including Nehru’s announcement to shocked crowds.

Tuli reportedly paid £80,000 for the photographs from an unnamed London dealer, paying an additional 17.5% duty to bring them into India. This is believed to be the highest price ever paid for a collection of 20th-century photographs by an Indian buyer.

The Gandhi collection, including these photographs, will be exhibited in the Osianama, a new arts centre that Tuli plans to open in the historic Minerva Cinema in Mumbai next January. In the article he describes it as "an integrated institution for cinema, the fine arts, pop culture, architecture, literature and philosophy, which will house the auction house, film archive, post-production facilities, permanent exhibition spaces and two or three screens."