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Priceless tapestry to be hung back
Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 13
The priceless tapestry designed by Chandigarh’s planner Le Corbusier, which was removed from the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 1994, will soon be hung back.

However, since the original was sold off as junk by callous Punjab and UT government officials, a new tapestry, with almost similar design and size, has been got woven at Varanasi.

“Yes, the tapestry will be put back by the end of this week. It is ready and final touches are being given to it,” says Mr Nachhattar Singh Mavi, Secretary, Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

The original tapestry was hung on a wall near the MLAs entrance in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and remained there till some officials decided to remove it. It was eventually sold off as junk at throwaway prices, all with the blessings of the UT Engineering Department. By the time the mistake was known, it was too late and despite efforts, the tapestry could not be recovered.

Enquiries revealed that a committee, comprising among others the previous Vidhan Sabha Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, Chandigarh’s Executive Engineer and an Executive Engineer of Punjab had sold off the tapestry along with other junk.

Other things sold as junk included curtains and carpets — all prepared under the supervision of Le Corbusier.

The move to get the tapestry replaced was initiated at Mr Mavi’s initiative when he became the Secretary.

“The officials who sold the tapestry were not aware of its heritage value. It would have gone unnoticed had the then UT Adviser, Mr Jagdish Sagar, not got wind of it. An inquiry was ordered. It finally came out that the tapestry had been sold as “raddi”,” observed an expert.

The decision to get the lost tapestry woven, using some designs prepared by Le Corbusier, was taken last year.

A Chandigarh company was given the task of getting the tapestry made at Varanasi.

“Though it will not be the exact replica of the original, at least something has been done. I hope better care would be taken as far as other tapestries are concerned,” says Ms Kiran Joshi, a leading expert on Le Corbusier’s works.

Mr Mavi says the tapestry would adorn its original place in the Vidhan Sabha when about 25 Pakistani legislators visit the Vidhan Sabha in the last week of this month.


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