Artefacts associated with Chandigarh’s founder-architect Le Corbusier—either disposed off as “junk” by local authorities or stolen—have found their way to auction houses in the West and are fetching millions of rupees.
An iron manhole cover carrying the master-plan design of Chandigarh by Le Corbusier was sold for Rs 100 by authorities here. It was later sold at a New York auction in 2007 for $21,000.
Lawyer Ajay Jagga has written to the Chandigarh administration that this matter be probed by the CBI. “On October 1, 2015, an auction house (in Britain) organised an auction of over 10 items from Chandigarh, designed by [Corbusier’s cousin] Pierre Jeanneret, which were sold for 97,500 pounds, equal to Rs 96.95 lakh,” Jagga said. Two tables and eight chairs designed by Corbusier were stolen from the ‘Le Corbusier Centre’ in Chandigarh a fortnight ago.