Heritage furniture items from Chandigarh to be auctioned in LA

Activist reaches out to Punjab CM, External Affairs Minister with a plea to stop the October 21 auction

Two Chandigarh heritage furniture items belonging to Punjab Vidhan Sabha will be auctioned in Los Angeles on October 21.

Advocate Ajay Jagga, member of UT Heritage Protection Committee, Friday took up the issue with Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar urging them to stop the auction.

The items comprise a triangular low table and low table designed by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret. The reserved price for both the heritage items was kept at $3,500-4,500 each. A private auction house advertised the auction of furniture items on the website.

Jagga said, “At one of the items, Punjab Vidhan Sabha was written in the Punjabi language at the rear side. There is an emergent need to get the matter examined from the law-enforcing agencies of Punjab and even the United States, as to how these items reached LA, when the export of these items is banned in India, by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Whether laws of India and USA were followed or not. Whether the people came to India on business VISA or tourist VISA. Whether all the duties/taxes were paid. Whether the right information was given at the export counter in India and import counter in the USA. As there is a complete ban of sale/disposal of such items in India and even ban on export also. Whether, seller is in legal/lawful possession.”

The heritage furniture items, manhole covers originally designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, have been auctioned in foreign countries for a long time.

Recently, six heritage items to be sold in Luxembourg were removed from the list a day before the auction on September 17.

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