THE SYMPOSIUM which is going to be held on Pierre Jeanneret’s 50th death anniversary has courted controversy, with the administration roping in Kiran Joshi as the keynote speaker, the former professor of Chandigarh College of Architecture, who was named in the magisterial probe for having heritage furniture in her possession. The case has still not been closed.
Former architects have conveyed their resentment to the administration in this matter.
A senior officer from the administration confirmed to Chandigarh Newsline that they were reconsidering the issue and would look for a replacement.
Ajay Jagga, a member of Heritage Protection Committee, said, “In events which are being held for legendary people like Corbusier or Jeanneret, it should have representatives from the administration and those who have the highest standard of integrity and deeply concerned about preservation and protection of our heritage, as mandated by the Constitution. If that is not the case, especially when the heritage of UT is already suffering, it will create a bad impact and we will keep losing our heritage.”
Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal said that the issue was brought to his notice and he was reconsidering the names.
In 2010, in an inquiry report wherein an architect was booked, the then SDM and current Joint Secretary (Home) Abhishek Dev had concluded that an architect had sold out heritage items to a French national in the early 90s. A communication was also sent to former Professor Kiran Joshi, asking her to return the heritage articles in her possession and an inquiry was initiated against her as well.
A senior official of the urban planning department said, “That person should be preferred who is not under scanner over the heritage issue in any case. We have a Heritage Protection Committee and at least the members could be asked for their suggestions. At such a time when the heritage smuggling issue is going on, such issues bring a bad name for the city.”
Joshi said, “There is no such thing as my version in this. Facts can be got from the Chief Architect’s Office.”
On Jeanneret’s 50th death anniversary (March 22, 1896 – December 4, 1967), the Chandigarh College of Architecture is organising a symposium ‘Pierre Jeanneret, The Foot Architect of Chandigarh’ on December 3 and 4 to commemorate his legacy, designing a series of events that will be open to the public.
The symposium will begin with guided tours by students and faculty of CCA to the Capitol Complex, Pierre Jeanneret Museum; old architect’s office (Le Corbusier Centre) and key buildings of the Panjab University.