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The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has suggested that the Chandigarh Administration to prepare an inventory of art works of Le Corbusier and his team and display it in a museum dedicated to the architect.
The UT Administration had written to the ASI director-general requesting that such art may be declared as art treasure so that its pilferage can be checked. However, the ASI, in its reply, has raised issues on the authenticity of all the items.
The letter, written by ASI Director-General Usha Sharma, stated that the matter was examined in detail and unless the direct contribution showing that these articles were made by the said architect and his team, it would be difficult to consider such art work as art treasure.
“The Section 2b of the AAT Act, 1972, suggests that the artistic or the aesthetic value of the items sought to be declared as art treasure ought to bear some determinable sign of the direct contribution of the author concerned. Therefore, the authenticity of each work of art and their author needs to be established primarily. While mentioning this, I would like to draw your attention that there are several instances where replicas of original art objects are sold as genuine work of art in the international market. Hence, the authentication of each art work becomes more essential before considering them as art treasure. Therefore, such items do not qualify for being declared as art treasure under provisions of the AAT Act, 1972.”
The letter further stated, “It is suggested that an inventory of these art works may be prepared with subsquent authentication regarding the unpretentiousness of their authorship and thereafter may be acquired and displayed by the Chandigarh Administration in a museum dedicated to Le Corbusier and his team.
The UT Administration has been making efforts to preserve its heritage as there has been heritage smuggling and spate of auctions has been taking place abroad where Corbusier designed furniture go for crores.