A picture of former Defense Minister AK Antony’s wife Elizabeth Antony, standing alongside a painting, is being forwarded on WhatsApp with the claim that the former Defense Minister had bought the painting at an exorbitant price of Rs 28 crore.
The text of the WhatsApp forward reads: “इस पेंटिंग की कीमत है मात्र 28 करोड़ रुपये। भूतपूर्व रक्षा मंत्री ए. के. एंटोनी ने अपने कार्यकाल में इसे खरीदा था वो भी सरकारी पैसे से। अब जरा यह भी जान लीजिए कि इस अद्भुत अदुतीय जादुई पेंटिंग को बनाने में अपना पूरा जीवन लगा देने वाले कलाकार कौन है और इन कलाकारा महोदय का नाम क्या है ?ये है एलिज़ाबेथ एंटोनी ।जी हाँ भूतपूर्व रक्षामंत्री की श्रीमती जी। यह निर्लज्ज रक्षामंत्री सेना के लिए हथियार की खरीदी के समय हाथ खड़े कर देता था। और वहीं अपने ही घर बनी हुई पेंटिंग को अपने आफिस में टांगने के लिए 28 करोड़ रुपये सरकार से झटक लेता है। *फिर भी मूर्ख लोग चोर मोदी को ठहरा रहे है।”
(Translation – The cost of this painting is just 28 crores rupees. Former Defense Minister A.K.Antony had bought it during his tenure that too with government money. Now just know that who is the artist who has devoted his whole life to making this wonderful unique magical painting and what is the name of this artist? This is Elizabeth Antony. Yes, wife of the former Defense Minister. This shameless defense minister used to raise his hand while buying weapons for the army. And at the same time, to hang his homemade painting in his office, he takes Rs 28 crore from the government. * Still foolish people are calling Modi a thief.)
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Upon receiving several requests on our WhatsApp helpline, we reverse searched the image and found an India Today article dated December 3, 2011. The article reports that the then defense minister’s wife exhibited her paintings at India Habitat Centre for a cancer cause to support her NGO where two paintings were bought by Air India for Thiruvananthapuram International Airport’s Terminal 3.
In 2016, Deccan Chronicle also reported that according to an RTI disclosure, AAI (Airport Authority of India) bought only two paintings priced at Rs 2.5 lakh.
In addition, we have also found a Facebook post of Elizabeth Antony on her official account in which she had denied all allegations with an attached copy of the reply from AAI. In the Facebook post, she has clarified that an associate of her had filed an RTI regarding the matter and according to the RTI reply, there were two paintings sold at the price of Rs, 1.25 lakhs each.
Conclusion: The two paintings were sold to the Airport Authority of India at Rs. 1.25 lakh each. The above claim is found to be fake and misleading