A slew of heritage items from Chandigarh — including a study table designed by architect Le Corbusier’s cousin Pierre Jeanneret — will be auctioned in France on March 5.
Several items designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, including aluminium shutter and arm chairs, will go under the hammer for around Rs 1 crore.
The study table designed by Jeanneret has its reserve price between Rs 31 lakh to Rs 39 lakh while a team desk will be auctioned for reserve price upto Rs 24.08 lakh.
A pair of arm chairs has reserved price fixed upto Rs 11.65 lakh while a suite of four arm chairs called office chairs has its reserve price upto Rs 15.54 lakh. Two lots of aluminium shutter will go for Rs 1.5 lakh.
Meanwhile, member of the heritage protection cell Ajay Jagga has written to UT Adviser Manoj Parida seeking an inquiry and to stop the auction.
“The representation is filed in accordance with article 51A 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.The auction by foreign auction houses of Indian heritage is going on, causing 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 approached reminding its international commitment to UNESCO to combat trafficking of cultural objects,” the representation said.
It further said, “As such it is requested that the matter may please be examined. The pictures of item are also given below and in the attached file. The matter is pertaining to financial loss, loss of prestige and heritage and violation of the ban of MHA, on sale/export of Heritage furniture designed by Pierre Jeanneret/ Le Corbusier. Hence you are requested to look into the matter so that the loopholes can be plugged and a suitable action be taken, after ascertaining the facts..”
There has been no end to the auction of Chandigarh heritage abroad. These items that have been going under the hammer abroad include teak stools, coffee tables, executive desks, arm chairs, lounge chairs, book cases, manhole, and demountable bed. They belonged to UT’s administrative buildings, Panjab University and Punjab and Haryana High Court. Last year, the UT Administration had directed all the departments to make an inventory of all heritage items with them. It was proposed to have a storage house where these items could be kept. But no action was taken in this regard.
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