28 Chandigarh heritage items go for Rs 4 crore in France : The Tribune India

28 Chandigarh heritage items go for Rs 4 crore in France

Set of sofa and two armchairs costliest item at Rs 42.35 lakh

28 Chandigarh heritage items go for Rs 4 crore in France

In yet another auction of UT's heritage items, as many as 28 artefacts from the city went under the hammer in France on June 4. The items fetched over Rs 4 crore.



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6

In yet another auction of UT’s heritage items, as many as 28 artefacts from the city went under the hammer in France on June 4. The items fetched over Rs 4 crore.

The artefacts, designed by architects Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier, include a coffee table, a classroom chair, easy armchairs, a rare table, senate committee chairs, an easy table, cane chairs, a bookcase, etc.

Ajay Jagga, a member of the Heritage Items Protection Cell of the Chandigarh Administration, said the costliest item, a rare set composed of a sofa and two armchairs in teak with flat sloping backs and lateral legs forming a bridge, was auctioned off for Rs 42.35 lakh.

Seeking protection of the heritage items, Jagga, in a letter to the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha, flagged the “illegal” auction in France (Chantilly) on June 4.

Jagga stated he was submitting the communication for the protection/return of Indian heritage items, as per the mandate of the Constitution of India. This was in continuation of his earlier communication.

“On June 4, an auction house in France ‘OISE Encheres’ auctioned off 28 items of Chandigarh, which are heritage articles,” he said.

In fact, the heritage articles were being auctioned off regularly in foreign countries without any resistance from Government of India. The auction houses were even declaring the source place of the heritage articles e.g. in the present auction, the auction house announced the chair was from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, he said.

The aim was to work out an appropriate action plan so that Chandigarh heritage could not be taken beyond the boundaries of India and those that were taken abroad illegally, their auctions were stopped through diplomatic channels and further brought back, he stated.

“You are also requested to work out regulations for the protection of these items,” he said, adding French officials were ready to take up the matter further, subject to opening of an investigation in this regard in India and Indian officials sending a letter to French officials in.

Earlier on May 12, as many as nine heritage items from the UT were auctioned off for Rs 1.17 crore in New Jersey, US. The costliest item was a floor lamp, which was sold for Rs 22.93 lakh. Similarly, in a Chicago auction on March 30, nine heritage items went under the hammer for Rs 1.64 crore. A set of six stools remained the costliest item at Rs 18.70 lakh.

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