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Posted at: May 10, 2019, 7:23 AM; last updated: May 10, 2019, 7:23 AM (IST)

$1 million Rock solid offer, but with a rider

US foundation wants ownership rights of Rock Garden for 2 yrs
$1 million Rock solid offer, but with a rider

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 9

An American foundation has offered a help of $1 million  for the restoration of Rock Garden. This was revealed today by John Maizel, one of the  trustees  of the Nek Chand  Foundation, based in London.

Maizel held a meeting with senior   officials of the Administration  and informed   them about the offer.

Maizel  said the offer for Rock Garden  had been  made by  the Kohler Foundation of Wisconsin, USA.  Maizel said the foundation, in collaboration with the   Nek  Chand  Foundation,  had offered to carry out restoration and completion work of Rock Garden and would provide a minimum of $1 million for the project.   

Maizel said after the death of Nek Chand, Rock Garden had “fallen into disrepair”  and the task   of conservation had   become difficult.

The UT Administration and the  Rock Garden Society were doing their  best,  but the task was so huge that it required  expert intervention. Maizel said the  Kohler Foundation  had restored the garden of sculptures and done similar work across  the  USA, and  this was the first  time that it had shown interest in something outside the country.

The Kohler Foundation has proposed  that it should be allowed to train artisans from Chandigarh in conservation methods  so that these people can carry out such work at Rock Garden in the future.   

HK Lakhanpal, another trustee of the  Nek Chand Foundation, said they had offered the help   and a final  decision in this regard would be taken  after  a detailed  discussion.

Not acceptable, says UT Home Secy

  • UT Home Secretary Arun Kumar Gupta, chairman of the Rock Garden Society, said the Nek Chand Foundation had approached them regarding the offer, but the conditions of the foundation were not acceptable.
  • He said the foundation wanted to take over the ownership rights for two years and also wanted to run Rock Garden along with the society in future. He said the UT  could accept experts’ help in the restoration of sculptures, but without any such conditions.

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