Sotheby's not to auction Sikh armour
Auction house Sotheby's has withdrawn a rare and controversial Sikh armour that was to go under the hammer on April 9.
The armour dates from the 18th century and has caused much controversy in India.
Recently people took to the streets in Amritsar and Patna with protestors claiming it belonged to Guru Gobind Singh.
Sotheby's, however, categorically denied that it belong to the 10th Sikh Guru.
''It is important that you know that Sotheby's does not consider the Sikh armour plate to be a relic of Guru Gobind Singh, as our cataloguing and estimate clearly indicate,'' a spokesman for the auction house said in a statement.
''I can also tell you we believe that complaints about the proposed offering are based on a misreading of Sotheby's cataloguing, which points to a stylistic similarity to a full set of armour in the possession of the Patiala royal family which the family attributes to Guru Gobind Singh,'' spokesman Simon Warren added.
Sikh political and religious bodies from Anandpur Sahib to Patna have petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, held demonstrations, and dashed off letters of protest to the Indian High Commission in London and Sotheby's calling for the rectangular 29-by-21-cm-body armour to be returned to Sikhs.