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Chandigarh heritage sold again in US: Five furniture items at Rs 13.6 lakh

Designed by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret, the items auctioned in Illinois, US, go for Rs 13.6 lakh.

punjab Updated: Sep 19, 2017 12:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh heritage,Pierre Jeanneret,sold in US
Wasted here, worth millions abroad. (Representative image )

Heritage furniture from Chandigarh went under the hammer at an auction held at Oak Park, Illinois, USA on September 16. The auction was conducted by Treadway Tommey Auctions.

Out of the six heritage items designed by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret, five were sold at a total cost of Rs 13.6 lakh. The items which were sold included Pierre Jeanneret’s office table desk-bookcase with armchair for Rs 3.6 lakh, against reserve price of Rs 1.6 lakh, his library chair was sold at Rs 4 lakh, against the reserve price of Rs 1.9 lakh, low stool or occasional table went at Rs 80,000, against the reserve price of Rs 64,000, an armchair went at Rs 2 lakh, against the reserve price of Rs 80,000 and a low lounge chair was sold at Rs 3.2 lakh against reserve price of Rs 1.3 lakh.

Since 2007, there has been spate of auctions of heritage furniture from the city at foreign auction houses.

The UT administration has been unable to stall these auctions. Though attempts were made earlier by sending communications to the auction houses, the administration was informed that the items have been purchased from the dealers and had all the receipts.

The auctions have fetched the auction houses millions of rupees. Most of these items were sold as scrap in Chandigarh, not fetching more than a few thousand rupees.

City advocate writes to DRI

City-based advocate Ajay Jagga has written a letter to Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seeking action. The letter relates to smuggling of furniture from Chandigarh that was designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and his associate and cousin Pierre Jeanneret. It also talks of at least six consignments of antique furniture shipped to a firm Sage Mercantile LLC in US between November 2014 and August 2016.

It has also come on record that importing of heritage furniture from India (especially designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret and available in Punjab) is resulting in huge profits, as in western countries there’s a huge demand for such items.

First Published: Sep 19, 2017 12:46 IST