While Paris-based Artcurial auction house held an auction for 14 heritage furniture items designed by Le Corbusier’s cousin Pier re Jeanneret on Monday, Chicago-based Wright auction house is also set to hold an auction for heritage furniture items belonging to city on June 12.
The US auction house will be putting to auction eight arm chairs, a pair of lounge chairs and two tables, all belonging to the City Beautiful. The auction house is set to ear n over Rs 33 lakh. This is not the first such auction to be held by the house. In the past also, it has held 234 auctions till last year where it had sold 204 heritage furniture items belonging to the city and had earned over Rs 10 crore.
It has been lear nt that the UT administration had discarded the heritage furniture not knowing its worth and had even auctioned it as part of junk. The matter came to the light in 2007 when these foreign houses auctioned city’s furniture, earning a good amount, following which the UT administration swung into action trying to preserve whatever little heritage furniture was left in the city.
The lone move, so far, taken by the administration was asking all institutions to for m an inventory of such items with them. This too was announced way back in 2011, and since then nothing much has been done except preparing an inventory which has 130 different types of fur niture items still available in the city.
Meanwhile, city-based advocate Ajay Jagga, who has been working on the issue of preserving heritage items, has given a fresh representation to the UT administration asking it to form a committee to investigate into the matter as to who sold these heritage items as scrap in the city.
Jagga said, “I have demanded registration of FIR against unidentified persons/ companies under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act for causing wrongful loss to the Chandigarh administration and for failure to protect the national heritage.”
ITEMS TO BE AUCTIONED IN US
2 dining tables from PU $ 3,000-5,000 (Rs 1.7-2.9 lakh) each
2 sets of four chairs $ 10,000-15,000 (Rs 5.8- 8.7 lakh)each
Pair of lounge chairs $ 10,000-15,000 (Rs 5.8- 8.7 lakh)(1$=Rs 58 approx)