Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 28
The sale and auction of heritage furniture designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret will invite strict punishment, including a jail term. The Administration has decided to write to the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to start the process to include it under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972.
The Administration has no law under which it can stop the sale of heritage furniture or punish those indulging in the sale and purchase of the furniture Under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, any art material which have been in existence for not less than 100 years is covered under the Act and called ‘antiquities’. The furniture designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret is less than 50-year-old and is not covered under the Act. As a result, there is no restriction on the sale of furniture, which is fast vanishing. It is being auctioned in the international market at a high price, but in Chandigarh, the furniture is being disposed of by government departments and owners as junk and sold at a cheaper price. This is causing a huge loss to the state exchequer. The Administration’s efforts to stop the practice have come a cropper due to guidelines set by officials of the ASI. However, under Section 2(b) of the Act, the Central Government as per the notification in the official gazette can declare any human work of art, not being an antiquity, as art treasure for the purpose of this Act, having regard to its artistic or aesthetic value, provided no declaration under this clause is made in respect of any such work of art so long as the author thereof is alive.
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