Chandigarh plans inventory for heritage

Chandigarh: Decades after master architect Le Corbusier designed this city, Chandigarh is fighting to preserve his artefacts and other heritage items, many of which have been stolen and auctioned abroad.

The administration is planning to prepare an inventory of the heritage items here.

"We cannot tolerate our heritage items being stolen and then auctioned abroad at very high prices. These things are our legacy and we cannot afford to lose them," Chandigarh home-cum-tourism secretary Ram Niwas told reporters Wednesday.

"We will organise a special campaign to prepare an inventory about heritage items like furniture and artefacts available in Chandigarh."

He added, "We would conduct surveys at places like Panjab University, secretariat building and the Punjab and Haryana High Court. We are also contemplating formulating a strategy to prevent theft of these heritage items."

Niwas said the administration will write to various departments to prepare lists of heritage items available with them.

There were reports that several heritage items from Chandigarh were auctioned at Chicago last month. Besides, in February last year, Corbusier`s works, including wooden carvings of sketches, graphs and drawings, were auctioned in Paris.

"We have also written to the US embassy seeking details about the recently conducted auction," stated Niwas.

Corbusier, who was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in his 30s, had designed this union territory in the 1950s.


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