IN YET another auction, heritage furniture belonging to Chandigarh was put under the hammer at a Berlin-based auction house.
Heritage items, a pair of armchairs designed by Pierre Jeanneret for Panjab University, were sold for Rs 7,05,225 (10000 euros). The auction was held on November 25.
Prior to that, the furniture sourced from Panjab University, High Court and Chandigarh Administration was auctioned for over Rs 5 crore in a Chicago-based auction house on October 29.
Since 2007, there has been a spate of auctions of heritage furniture belonging to Chandigarh in various countries despite attempts made by the Chandigarh Administration to stop such auctions.
These heritage items, designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, were purchased by dealers, mostly foreign nationals, at throwaway prices and they later auctioned them at high prices. After facing criticisim 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 heritage items are not sold.
Meanwhile, city-based social activist Ajay Jagga has written to the anti-corruption branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation for taking appropriate action. He also requested the administration to get all these items notified from the Central government as art treasure. He suggested that the administration could create a museum for these items, attracting tourists as well as locals. A small entry fee could earn revenue as well.