Chandigarh: Theft and selling of heritage furniture has more or less gone unabated as a matter of fact that such priceless artifacts are being repeatedly sold in France, the UK, the US and Belgium. Some more heritage furniture worth Rs 1.86 crores has been recently sold in France .
Auction was held in France on September 11, for items worth 2, 50, 000 Euros, amounting to Rs 1.86 crores (INR) causing huge financial loss to the exchequer of Union Territory of Chandigarh, apart from damaging the prestige heritage of the nation.
According to reports, theft of Le Corbusier’s precious heritage by crooked art dealers in the eighties, has finally started paying off in a big way. Despite many reports, FIRs and a suicide by 37-year-old Home Guards volunteer after heritage furniture was stolen from Le Corbusier Centre Sector 19 earlier this year, now there seems to be no way to stop the stolen heritage furniture from going under the hammer at auction houses abroad.
The furniture designed and used by Pierre Jeanerette (1896-1967) auctioned are daybed, paire de tabourets, rangement bas double face, bureau, table dite square table, paire de tabourets, fauteuil, table dite library table, paire de fauteuils dits advocate and press chair, suite de quatre fauteuils dits office chair, chaise dite classroom chair, paire de fauteuils dits senate chair and ensemble comprenant deux chauffeuses et une banquette.
When the matter was taken up with Home Secretary Anurag Aggarwal, he said, “It is a sad state of affairs that such heritage of the city is being stolen and sold for crores of rupees in foreign countries.
I will ask the police to expedite the investigations and will also set deadline for them to trace the culprits.”
Meanwhile, advocate Ajay Jagga gave a representation to Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma for the registration of an FIR for inquiry into sale or auction of heritage furniture.
Jagga said, “The administration has not taken any action in the sale of heritage furniture even when it has been going on for years. Only writing once to the auction houses was not enough. The Centre should have been approached for help. I will be making a complaint to the CBI as well.”
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