Works of Controversy: The Government of India vs. Wright

. Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Apparently the Indian government is making all attempts to stop Wright's March 31st auction, and  to recover the Pierre Jeanneret furniture formerly from the city of Chandigarh.  In the 1950's the Chandigarh government commissioned Le Corbusier to design the city as a monument to modernity. Le Corbusier's cousin, Pierre Jeanneret, was hired to design the furniture.

By the 1980's the Chandigarth government considered the furniture as junk, and was sold to the public "for peanuts" at government auctions. Some of the furniture was purchased by a number of wise European 20th Century art dealers, restored, and then offered at auction houses worldwide. As a result, the market for Jeanneret furniture expanded significantly, and value grew dramatically (eg. the chair pictured above has been estimated at 15,000 - 20,000 USD).

The problem: now that the furniture is valuable, the Indian government is attempting to claim ownership of the pieces.

Click here to read the full story from Wright.


liza said...

Thanks so much for the link. Fascinating. I guess we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Erik said...

The best thing for the indian government would be to buy as many of these objects as possible and donate them to their museums of modern art. And to get hold of the measurements of all pieces and produce them anew. That's usually how this works.

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