London: The personal sword of the Tiger of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, is nowhere to be found after liquor businessman Vijay Mallya gave it away as his family said ‘it brought bad luck’. Mallya had bought it for Rs 1.5 crore at a private auction in 2004.
The lawyer representing 13 Indian banks of whom Mallya owes about Rs 9,000 crore, told the London high court on Tuesday that the sword is worth £188,000 (about Rs 1.8 crore today). The lawyer, taking this example, said ‘the banks are at risk of Mallya “dissipating his assets”.’
One of Mallya’s former colleagues claimed that he tried to give the sword to a reputed museum after he bought it at a London auction but the museum did not take it, as it was not clear how would it be preserved. ‘What Mallya did with it afterwards, is unclear’, he said.
The seventh-generation descendant of Tipu, Sahebzada Mansoor Ali Tipu told TOI that the family is trying to get in contact with Mallya to purchase it from him but did not hear from him.
“As far as our understanding goes, the sword is nowhere to be seen. Neither the small museum of Tipu Sultan in Srirangapatna nor any of the family members have it. Mallya never disclosed the location of the sword to anyone,” he said.
Mansoor Ali said the family was ready to take legal action to bring the sword back to India due to its historical and archaeological importance.