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Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh ‘being plundered’

Campaigners have called for the Le Corbusier-designed Chandigarh city in India to be protected after it emerged pieces were being sold on for profit

The Swiss-born architect drew up plans for Chandigarh in the 1950s as part of India’s move towards modernisation but art dealers have bought his design pieces from city officials who are unaware of their value, it has been reported. They allegedly then sell them for thousands of pounds in profit.

Chairs from the city’s assembly buildings were among a lot sold at a London auction last year and campaigners have called for the plundering of Chandigarh’s heritage to stop, calling for help from other nations.

Manmohan Nath Sharma, who assisted Le Corbusier during the city’s design, said: ‘What is being lost is irreplaceable. Our heritage is going to be gone forever. This matter is being taken very lightly by the authorities, so now we need international help. This is a handmade city. It is unique. It can never be replaced.’

Le Corbusier was brought in to oversee every aspect of the city’s design and feel, from the modernist buildings to its smallest features like door handles.


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