Updated: October 2, 2021 11:54:15 am
A few heritage items from Chandigarh have gone under the hammer for Rs 3.34 crore in an auction held on Thursday in Paris, with a pair of chairs going for a whopping Rs 78.22 lakh.
The Lot 117 pair of armchairs – designed by a Swiss-French architects Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret – are made of solid teak and fabric. Other items, including the chairs, went for a sum of 3,89,350 Euros.
A member of Heritage Protection Cell, Ajay Jagga, has written a letter to Union Minister of Culture G Kishan Reddy, French Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, Indian Ambassador to France, Jawed , First Secretary (Consular & Political) Indian Embassy, Paris, Avinash Kumar Singh.
In the letter, Jagga said, “I had humbly intimated in advance about the auction of some heritage items of Chandigarh, in violation of the Constitution of India and MHA orders (22 February, 2011) on 30-09-2021 in Paris by an auction house namely PIASA. Further, I am placing the information before you, the auction was conducted, as per schedule and all items were auctioned for Rs. 3.34 crores and the costliest item was a pair of chairs which were auctioned for 78.22 lakh INR (Euros-91000) and information has been declared by auction house.”
Jagga further said in the letter, “There is an emergent need to the get the matter examined from the law enforcing agencies of Paris, as to how these items reached Paris. Whether laws of India and France were followed or not? As there is a complete ban of sale/disposal of such items in India and even ban on export also. Whether, seller is in legal/lawful possession. The representation is filed in accordance with Article 51 of the Constitution of India,” he added.
Jagga has requested the officials to find out how the items reached the particular auction house, “so that the auction of our smuggled heritage items (if any), can be stalled, in future, after ascertaining the facts.”
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