Chicago-based Wright auction house is once again all set to auction heritage furniture from City Beautiful during its upcoming auction on March 27. In all,14 items designed by city’s founder architect Le Corbusier’s cousin Pierre Jeanneret will be auctioned and the house expects to earn a minimum of around $2 lakh (`1.2 crore) from the auction. Among the 14 items to be auctioned, the highest bid has been made for a pair of lounge chairs from Panjab University (PU), which is $30,000-40,000 (`18 lakh to ` 24 lakh).
Other items that will be auctioned include a pair of committee chairs from Chandigarh assembly, two pairs of stools from Chandig arh Colle g e of Architecture, a sofa from Punjab and Haryana high court, a dining table from Panjab University cafeteria, six dining chairs, another pair of lounge chair and other furniture items. The last such auction by US-based house was held in December wherein by auctioning six items it had earned approximately ` 83 lakh. While the heritage furniture is lying rotting at many places in the city, the Wright auction house earned about ` 3 crore by auctioning 23 furniture items in 2013 alone. The UT administration, meanwhile, had done nothing much except asking different institutes in the city to for m an inventory of the heritage items being possessed by them.
These directions were issued in 2011 and since then nothing much except documenting these items had been done. Though the plan was to restore and repair these heritage furniture items by Chandigarh Colle ge of Architecture, nothing much had been done in this regard. The committee members from the colle g e had told the Hindustan Times that they have started with documentation and though they have asked individuals to visit them for any repair of heritage furniture items, no such repair work had been done.