Yet again, heritage furniture ‘belonging’ to UT goes for Rs 25 lakh at US auction

The furniture includes two round stools, pair of architect stools, six armchairs, pair of office armchair, one each library chair, office table desk-bookcase, and student desk.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:September 12, 2016 4:05 am

HERITAGE FURNITURE belonging to Chandigarh was yet again put under the hammer at a US-based auction house. Heritage items, furniture designed by Pierre Jeanneret for Chandigarh College of Architecture and UT Secretariat carry were sold for Rs 25 lakh on September 10.

The furniture includes two round stools, pair of architect stools, six armchairs, pair of office armchair, one each library chair, office table desk-bookcase, and student desk.

A pair of stools designed for Chandigarh College of Architecture fetched Rs 2.50 lakh ($3,750), while a library chair of Central University Library, Panjab University went for Rs 2.67 lakh ($4,000). A round stool of PU science block also fetched Rs 2.67 lakh ($4,000). Office table designed for UT secretariat went for Rs 2.91 lakh ($4,350). A pair of architect stools went for Rs Rs 1.60 lakh ($2,400). A set of six armchairs fetched Rs 6.02 lakh ($9,000), while a pair of office armchairs and a student desk were purchased for Rs 3.17 lakh each ($4,750).

Since 2007, heritage furniture belonging to Chandigarh designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret had been regularly auctioned in various countries. The Chandigarh Administration has failed to stop such auctions.

These heritage items were purchased by dealers, mostly foreign nationals, at throwaway prices and they later auctioned them at high prices. After facing criticism for failure to check auction of heritage items, the administration had prepared an inventory of the heritage items that are still present in Chandigarh to ensure that they are not sold.

City-based social activist Ajay Jagga has again written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seeking an investigation the matter.

AUCTIONS IN PAST TWO YEARS

# June 10, 2016 4 heritage items, furniture designed Le Corbusier were auctioned for Rs 1 crore at a New York-based auction house.

# December 1, 2015 Furniture items designed by Pierre Jeanneret were sold for Rs 2.97 crore at a Paris-based auction house.

# On November 25, 2015: Furniture sourced from Panjab University, Punjab and Haryana High Court and Chandigarh administration was sold at Berlin auction for Rs 7 lakh.

# October 29, 2015: Furniture designed by Pierre Jeanneret was auctioned for over
Rs 5 crore in a Chicago-based auction house.