UT departments told to prepare inventory of heritage furniture

CHANDIGARH: Taking a slew of measures to stop the sale and auction of the city’s heritage furniture, designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, the UT Administrations has asked all of its departments to prepare the inventory of the heritage furniture afresh besides starting the process to declare the furniture as art treasure under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972.

editorial@tribune.com

Ramkrishan Upadhyay 

Tribune News Service 

Chandigarh, May 10 

Taking a slew of measures to stop the sale and auction of the city’s heritage furniture, designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, the UT Administrations has asked all of its departments to prepare the inventory of the heritage furniture afresh besides starting the process to declare the furniture as art treasure under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972. 

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Heritage Protection Cell recently. Members of the committee also asked the departments not to sell any furniture without the consent of the competent authority. 

Ajay Jagga, a member of the committee, has submitted the report in favour of declaring the heritage furniture as art treasure. Jagga was asked to look into the fact if it was possible to declare the furniture art treasure under the Act. 

Under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, any the material that has been in existence for not less than 100 years is covered under the Act as “antiquity”. 

The furniture designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret is less than 50 years old and is not covered under the Act. As a result, there is no restriction on the sale of the furniture. 

In the absence of the law, the efforts to stop its sale have come a cropper.  Jagga, in his report, stated that under Section 2(b) of the Act, the Union Government by notification in the official gazette could declare any human work of art, not being an antiquity, as art treasure. 

Under the Act, the sale of art treasures invites strict punishment, including a jail term. 

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