- Government of India
The Indian city of Chandigarh is one of the world’s greatest architectural treasures. Described by its architect Le Corbusier as “my crowning work”, it is an exceptionally ambitious and successful experiment in urban planning that has enriched the lives of the many people who have lived and worked there.
Le Corbusier worked on the design, planning and construction of Chandigarh with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret and a team of international architects from 1950 until his death in 1965. The result is the first planned city in India with beautiful green spaces and some of the 20th century’s finest buildings.
Their work at Chandigarh is now imperilled by the removal of artifacts designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and their team, including public property. Many of these artifacts, such as furniture, lighting, carvings, architectural drawings and models, have subsequently been sold by international art dealers and auction houses. A manhole cover from Chandigarh sold for over $24,000 at an auction in Paris in November 2010.
If the plundering of Chandigarh continues, Le Corbusier’s vision of the city will be destroyed. This article in The Guardian newspaper explains the gravity of the situation:
A group of local architects and art historians led by Manmohan Nath Sharma, who was Le Corbusier’s first assistant and later chief architect of Chandigarh, is campaigning to preserve the city’s architectural integrity.
You can help their campaign by signing this petition to urge the Indian government to:
- lobby UNESCO to make Chandigarh a World Heritage Site
- impose tighter controls on the removal of public property from Chandigarh
Your support could help to Save Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh.
- lobbying the United Nations for Chandigarh to be admitted to the list of World Heritage Sites
- imposing tighter controls on the removal of public property from Chandigarh
Chandigarh is an architectural treasure, a Le Corbusier masterpiece and a source of Indian national pride that should be cherished, not neglected.