State of museums: Fete Corbusier by securing his heritage | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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State of museums: Fete Corbusier by securing his heritage

The City Beautiful known for its green cover and gardens can very well be known for its museums that offer knowledge on a wide array of subjects.

punjab Updated: Oct 11, 2015 12:29 IST
Monica Sharma
Monica Sharma
Hindustan Times
Chandigarh,Le Corbusier centre,Punjab and Haryana high court
The corridor of the Le Corbusier Centre at Sector 19, Chandigarh(Karun Sharma/HT)

The City Beautiful known for its green cover and gardens can very well be known for its museums that offer knowledge on a wide array of subjects.

The UT administration has not only failed to create awareness about these museums but has been unable to secure items at one of its most significant museums at the Le Corbusier centre in Sector 19.

The authorities concerned have failed to highlight the importance of the museum in the Punjab and Haryana high court which offers the visitors a peep into the past.

Owing to lack of security, thieves managed to decamp Le Corbusier’s designed chairs and tables last month. Even though a set budget is earmarked for the maintenance of museums, the authorities are suggesting an increase in the entry fee for the museums.

As the visitor steps in the Le Corbusier Centre, Sector 19, the pictures of the French architect placed on both sides of the corridor welcome you. In the centre, there are images that track the excavation progress of the ancient Harappan civilisation in Sector 17 along with Harappan findings.

The centre also displays Le Corbusiers communications exchanged between him and former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. There is a letter regarding open hand monument sent to the former chief commissioner MS Randhawa in 1964.

The centre also exhibits paintings by Le Corbusier and the furniture designed by him. The sources in the UT tourism department claim that the number of visitors isn’t constant per day, some days there are 50 visitors and other days it plumments to five or not even a single visitor. The visitors coming to the centre are largely architecture students or foreigners.

The centre which was set up in 2009, at the old Sector 19 office of the city’s architect Le Corbusier provides a glimpse into the making of Chandigarh. Swiss-French architect Corbusier had used the office while conceptualising the city.

The architect with Jawaharlal Nenru in a picture displayed at the Le Corbusier Centre. (HT Photo )

The main aim of the Centre is preservation, interpretation, research and the display of the works and legacy of Le Corbusier. The centre also has the memorabilia, including letters and works of the architect. These include architectural models and designs of Corbusier which were an emminent part of the planning of Chandigarh. The UT administration is also considering some structural changes and renovations for the maintenance of the building.

The building now has over 200 photographs, documents and paintings showcasing the making of the city. The UT administration has failed to make the sector 19 centre secure even after 15 days of the theft. There is just one guard present to keep a vigil at the centre and so far no CCTV cameras have been installed at the Sector 19 Le Carbusier Centre.

High court museum fails to catch fancy of residents

Historical documents, case properties and other item on display at Punjab and Haryana high court museum. (Ravi Kumar/HT )

The museum at the Punjab and Haryana high court, Sector 1, is a must visit for all those curious of how the Punjab and Haryana high court came into being. Vistors also get to see unique trial orders of freedom fighters.

The museum at the very entrance has pictures of former chief justices of Punjab and Haryana high court since 1950 and of the inaugural function of the high court in March 1955 in which former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru can also be seen. The journey of the high court is depicted through its buildings in Lahore, Shimla and Chandigarh.

The museum inaugurated in 2006 showcases an antique collection of brass pens, ink, pencils, bows and arrows. The richest collection is the trial judgement from 1930 of renowned freedom fighter Shaheed Bhagat Singh, freedom fighter Kartar Singh Sarabha trial judgment in 1915, murder trial of former Punjab chief minister Partap Singh Kairon and Nathu Ram Godse’s handcuffs.

There is also a copy of the original Constitution of India signed by the historic Constituent Assembly. An old court room with antique equipment like stamps, heaters, sofas, pen stands, typewriters and calendars has been re-created in the premises to give the onlooker an illustration on how court rooms of that era looked. The museum gets around 15 to 20 visitors per day, most of whom are litigants who come to the high court for their cases. The museum is yet to catch the fancy of city residents and school students.


The book kept at the museums revealed people admiring the collection withwords like ‘Fascinating’, ‘Great Collection’ , ‘Excellent’. The visitors from over the country and globe said visiting the museums in Chandigarh were one of the best they have visted in India.

For the dolls Museum, the visitors said they had never seen such a huge collection of dolls at one place. For the Punjab and Haryana high court museum the visitors said the visit provided them knowledge about historic moments and visit to Le Corbusier’s centre helped them understand the magnificence of the architect.