Chandigarh heritage: Luxembourg seeks details of items up for auction

Amarjot Kaur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 15

In response to a representation sent by a member of the heritage items panel of the city, Chris Backes, a juriste, Ministry of Culture, Luxembourg, has asked for documents concerning the six heritage items that are to be auctioned on September 18 in Luxembourg.

A formal communication in this regard (a copy of which is with Chandigarh Tribune) was sent by Backes to Ajay Jagga, in connection to his email dated September 13 wherein he informed Luxembourg’s culture ministry about the city’s six heritage items, which might have been illegally removed from India.

In the letter, Backes asks Jagga to confirm if the auction in question was the auction, “Succession De MME L Et À Divers Fine Art Auction - Design”, to be held in Stadtbredimus on September 18 and if the objects listed are the ones numbered from 71 to 76.

Backes has also asked Jagga to provide them with “all the necessary documents that prove that the said objects have been illegally removed from India in violation of Indian law and there is a ban on the export of these six objects”.

On September 13, Ajay Jagga, a member of the UT Heritage Items Protection Cell, in a representation to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Ambassador of India to Belgium/Luxembourg at Brussels Santosh Jha and minister of culture in Luxembourg Sam Tanson had sought the return of the city’s heritage items being auctioned in Europe.

Quoting the estimated price of the heritage items all set to be auctioned between Rs52.55 lakh and Rs64.71 lakh, Jagga stated: “The six Chandigarh heritage items to be auctioned in Luxembourg on September 18, are in violation of the MHA (Govt of India) orders (February 22, 2011). The order of the MHA has banned the export of Chandigarh heritage furniture.”

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