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Controversy over auctioning of Corbusier-designed objects refuses to die down with Chandigarh UT urban planning department now deciding to check the authenticity of all furniture items and manhole covers attributed to the famous Swiss architect, Le Corbusier who planned Chandigarh. It may be recalled here that recently two lounge chairs designed by Corbusier were auctioned at Chicago fetching an unbelievable sum of Rs 1.14 crore. [(https://www.sawdust.online/news/record-price-for-heritage-furniture-in-auction-creates-controversy/] [ https://www.sawdust.online/news/action-against-auction-of-heritage-furniture-demanded/]) Similarly, few years ago cast-iron manhole covers bearing an impression of the master plan of Chandigarh city by the famous Swiss architect had fetched 17,851 Euros!
According to UT urban planning department there are fakes masquerading as Corbusier originals and the department wants to differentiate the replicas from the originals by going into minute details like verifying drawings and stock register and checking such details as nails or screws used in the work. Even the kind of polish used would be checked for its authenticity. Archaeological Survey of India too has reportedly asked UT to begin enumerating Corbusier’s works and then check their authenticity. According ASI, preparation of the inventory of all such works, authentication of them and a museum to showcase such works of art will prevent illegal export of these items.