Chandigarh heritage items fetch Rs 23.46L at Luxembourg auction : The Tribune India

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Chandigarh heritage items fetch Rs 23.46L at Luxembourg auction

Art treasure tag must for their protection: Heritage cell member

Chandigarh heritage items fetch Rs 23.46L at Luxembourg auction


Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 27

Four heritage furniture items from the city went under the hammer in Luxembourg (Europe) and fetched a total of Rs 23.46 lakh.

As many as five artefacts designed by Pierre Jeanneret, including a set of two easy armchairs, a writing chair, a low rectangular stool, a small desk, a set of two office cane chairs, were put up for auction, but only four items could be sold at the auction. A pair of easy arm chairs was sold for Rs 9.21 lakh, a low rectangular school went for Rs 1.80 lakh, a small desk was auctioned for Rs 4.69 lakh and a set of two office cane chairs fetched Rs 7.76 lakh.

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In a letter to External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Union Minister for Culture G Kishan Reddy, Ajay Jagga, a member of the Heritage Items Protection Cell of the UT Administration, stated that the Luxembourg auction house sold Indian heritage items even as the MHA had banned the movement of goods beyond Chandigarh in 2011. They were freely auctioning UT heritage without any fear of the Indian Government.

On March 24, Lux auction house conducted the auction of four items from Chandigarh. “It is observed that unless these are clearly declared as art treasure and covered under the definition of ‘art treasure’ i.e. Section 2 (b) of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, the protection is almost impossible,” he added.

“The declaration of Chandigarh heritage articles as art treasure would ensure ban on its export. As per Section 3, it shall not be lawful for any person, other than the Central Government or any authority or agency authorised by it, to export any antiquity or art treasure. Whenever the Central Government or any authority or agency referred to in sub-section (1) intends to export any antiquity or art treasure, such export shall be made only under and in accordance with the terms of a permit issued for the purpose,” wrote Jagga.

He again sought examination of the matter accordingly and to take apt steps. “In the absence of same, we are losing heritage articles as well as suffering huge financial loss. Even after so much of smuggling in the past more than 15 years, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, High Court, PGIMER and PU must be having articles worth Rs 1,000 crore or more,” Jagga said.

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