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Punjab Vidhan Sabha tapestry sold as junk!
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 31
The removal of the tapestry designed by Chandigarh’s planner Le Corbusier from the courtroom of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, Mr Justice B.K. Roy, is not an isolated incident of the city being slowly stripped of its heritage.

In 1994, callous government officials in Punjab removed a huge tapestry from a wall in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, all with the blessings of officials of the UT Engineering Department, and sold off that tapestry, as junk!

Despite efforts, the tapestry could not be recovered.

“It was a big issue. Unfortunately, very few people, apart from officials, got wind of the incident. The matter was given a quiet burial,” recalls an officer, who was a witness to the incident.

The Haryana Vidhan Sabha has two such tapestries.

Efforts are now on to preserve these two pieces and replace them with new, almost identically-designed tapestries.

According to sources, in 1994, some officers, without bothering about the heritage value of the tapestry that hung from a wall near the MLAs entrance in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, removed it and sold it off.

The matter would have ended there had the then UT Adviser, Mr Jagdish Sagar, not got wind of the matter. An inquiry was ordered. It finally came out that the tapestry had been sold as “raddi”.

Heritage experts prevailed upon the UT Administration to remove the remaining two tapestries and replace these with new, identical tapestries.

The order for new tapestries was placed with a UT firm. However, the UT goofed up and the tapestries that were finally delivered did not have the same designs.

Strangely, the payment of the firm was not stopped.

As for the sold-off tapestry, some three months ago, the UT Administration finally decided to use the designs prepared by Le Corbusier and get a new tapestry made.
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