Though the UT administration has been striving hard to get UNESCO to accord Chandigarh the status of a World Heritage City, it has done little to preserve the heritage furniture, much of which is in dire need of repair. Instead it has sold over 200 such items, netting about Rs. 10 crore, over the past few years after putting them on the block at Chicago’s Wright auction house.
The furniture was designed by Pierre Jeanneret, cousin of Le Corbusier, who designed the city’s landmark buildings.
As usual, the administration has opted to pass the buck, saying it had already drawn up an inventory of the heritage furniture but the repair work was the responsibility of the Chandigarh College of Architecture.
However, the latter said it had voluntarily offered to repair the furniture items and would soon get started on the job.
Talking to HT, Pradip Bhagat of the architecture college, who is also a member of the heritage furniture committee, said: “We’ve recently hired a carpenter and will soon begin with the repair work”.
It may be mentioned here the UT administration had initiated the process for drawing up the inventory in 2011. The completed list now lists about 130 types of furniture items.
Commenting on the matter, UT architect Sumi Kaur said: “We’ve completed the inventory of the furniture and the next step is to get the broken items repaired, and the Chandigarh College of architecture has been given this task”.
Most of the furniture items sold by the Wright auction house were those belonging to the Panjab University, the Punjab & Haryana High Court and the UT secretariat.