There is no stopping of auction of heritage items abroad. As many as 10 heritage items will be going under the hammer in London for a whopping Rs 1.50 crore.
The auction is scheduled to take place on October 14.
A Corbusier-designed advocate press chair designed for High Court, Chandigarh, has its reserve price pegged between Rs 6.9 lakh and Rs 8.61 lakh. Pierre Jeanneret’s pair of low chairs, model no. PJ-SI-36-A, designed for the High Court and PU student residences has its reserved price pegged at Rs 17.22 lakh.
A committee table designed by Corbusier and Jeanneret for the Assembly has the maximum cost of Rs 34.44 lakh, a set of eight office armchairs designed by Jeanneret for administrative buildings and two advocate press chairs have their reserve price between Rs 12.92 lakh and Rs 17.22 lakh.
A Jeanneret ‘writing table for junior officers’, model no. PJ-BU-14-A, from the secrétariat and administrative buildings has been pegged at Rs 12.92 lakh, while a Pierre Jeanneret Bench, model no. PJ-SI-38-B, designed for the High Court, Chandigarh, circa 1955 has been pegged at Rs 6.9 lakh and 10.35 lakh. Pierre Jeanneret public bench, model no. PJ-SI-38-B, designed for the High Court, has been pegged between Rs 8.61 lakh and Rs 12.92 lakh. Pierre Jeanneret pair of ‘easy’ armchairs and Jeanneret folding screen, designed for the Secretariat, the Assembly, and the Panjab University administrative buildings have been pegged between Rs 3.44 lakh and Rs 5.17 lakh.
Ajay Jagga, a member of Heritage Protection Cell, has taken up the matter and written a letter to the Union Minister of External Affairs. “Indian embassy in London should be asked to step in and attempt to stall the auction of Chandigarh heritage items and the matter be probed as to how these banned items have gone beyond the territory of India in violation of MHA orders dated February 22, 2011,” he said.
Jagga in his letter stated that a representation is filed in accordance with Article 51-A of the Constitution of India, which says “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India—(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture; (i) to safeguard public property”.
He specified, the auction by foreign auction houses of Indian heritage is spreading.
“It is causing a huge loss to nation’s prestige apart from violation of ban and as such it is appealed that all foreign embassies (of India) may be alerted and UN may also be approached reminding its international commitment to UNESCO to combat trafficking of cultural objects. Now in London on 14-10-2020 an auction by auction house BONHAM is announced with 10 items from Chandigarh,” he said.
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