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Auction of Chandigarh’s heritage furniture Continues unabated: Chairs sold for over Rs 20 lakh in New York

Punjab Local Bodies and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had also written to CM Amarinder Singh asking him to dismiss former museum director. Sidhu said the vigilance department was with CM and only he can order an inquiry into the case.

Navjot Singh Sidhu (File)

Despite intimation in advance, there seems to be no end to auction of Chandigarh’s heritage furniture abroad. A pair of advocate and press arm chairs designed by Le Corbusier and his associate Pierre Jeanneret have been auctioned for a whopping Rs 20.62 lakh held at New York on Tuesday.

The lot of the armchairs, model No. LC/PJ-SI-41-A, designed for the High Court, Chandigarh, was auctioned for 32,000 US dollars there.

Member of heritage protection committee, Ajay Jagga, has written to Dr Mechtild Rossler, Director UNESCO Heritage Centre, France, intimating him about the latest auction and seeking his intervention.

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Several auctions have taken place abroad in recent times. However,despite intimation in advance about the auctions, nothing has been done by the UT Administration to stop those auctions.

Early this year, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) wrote to the Punjab government to initiate action under conduct rules against their official N P S Randhawa, former museum director, for his alleged transactions with a businessman accused of antique smuggling of furniture from Chandigarh.

Punjab Local Bodies and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had also written to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asking him to dismiss the official. Sidhu said the vigilance department was with the chief minister and only he can order an inquiry into the case.

The minister even said that if nothing happens, he would get an FIR filed in the case as tourism minister. But, till date, nothing has been done.

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