A concrete light fixture designed by Le Corbusier was found completely vandalised at Sector 16’s Rose Garden on Thursday.
Superintending Engineer Horticulture at Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Krishan Pal Singh said that anti-social elements had damaged the light. “My staff checked and they found that one bollard has been damaged completely. The malba has been removed. We will launch a probe over who has done this. It appears to be the work of some anti-social elements,” he said.
The SE Horticulture added, “We will check if all the other lights are fine. If damage has been caused to more, we will lodge a complaint with the police regarding all of them.”
There are 270 such lights at the Rose garden. Activist and member of Heritage Protection Cell, Ajay Jagga said that these lights had been repaired some time back. “The repair was not proper and moreover it was done by those who were not aware of the outstanding universal value. Secondly, instead of the keeping it in the original shape the cement concrete, someone also painted it with white and blue, that too is in violation of the undertaking given by UT to the UNESCO regarding originality of the material,” he said.
Jagga also said that at many places the concrete light fixtures were removed and never placed back. “In the past, a concrete light fixture of Sukhna Lake was auctioned for over Rs 15 lakh in London. Further, it seems that proper care is not being taken of such items as proper and technically qualified supervisor should oversee repair of such things,” he said.
For quite sometime, activists have highlighted that the Rose Garden has been subjected to neglect for many reasons. “All those reasons were given to the officers concerned about five years back. The number of flower beds too have been multiplied without application of mind, perhaps the budget spending seems to be the only purpose for this. The multiplied flower beds has spoilt its oneness and the original character. Recently, few flower beds were named after person without realising that it is not permitted to add names such as PUSA,” he said, adding that this is not the first time that Corbusier lights are under attack.
At Sukhna Lake too, the UT Engineering department had itself drilled into the modernist cement lights installed by Corbusier.
The city’s heritage has been of late. Many heritage items including these concrete lights have been auctioned for lakhs in markets abroad.
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