City residents angry at tapestry removal

‘What are they up to’ Today they have removed one tapestry. Tomorrow they may decide to pull down the entire High Court. How can they take such negative steps’ The heritage of our city cannot be allowed to be destroyed. If the French can offer to clean the tapestries, even though they don’t get anything from the bargain, why can’t we respect our heritage” questions senior advocate G.K. Chatrath.
City’s first Chief Architect M.N. Sharma who worked closely with Le Corbusier remarked that the heritage value of all artifacts should be conserved and, wherever need be, restored.
‘I was a witness to the planning and execution of the whole project. Everything that was put in place then is part of our heritage and should not be destroyed. If the tapestry has actually become unclean, experts should be involved to deal with the issue,’ Mr Sharma told The Tribune.
Expressing concern over the fact that a lot of tinkering was being done with the idea of Chandigarh as a city, Mr Sharma urged the citizens to be alive to the issues concerning the city.
Another associate of Le Corbusier, architect S.D. Sharma wondered if the officers managing the affairs of the city were appreciative of the importance of preserving its heritage.

‘None of Corbusier’s buildings or structures was in isolation. Everything that was placed in the buildings adds to the aura and ambience of the building. If you remove one small artifact, the whole project is defeated. As for the tapestry, it could have easily been cleaned in the High Court itself. The longer it remains in storage, the more damage will be done to it,’ Mr Sharma observed.

Former Principal of College of Architecture Aditya Prakash, an expert in this field, took offence to the removal of the tapestry from the courtroom.

‘If the Chief Justice had any objection to dust, the dust should have been removed rather than the tapestry. Such pieces of heritage cannot be disturbed for the sake of a single person,’ he added.

Peeved over the ‘ignorance of the heritage of the city’, advocate Rajeev Godara said heritage material should not be touched, except to clean it. ‘However, in this case, it does not seem likely that the tapestry will be hung back. Even in the matter of the construction, however small it may be, the spirit of the High Court complex should not be affected,’ he said.

He also said that the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association should discuss the matter and ensure that the damage was undone.

Heritage expert Madhu Sarin came down heavily on the officials responsible for the lapse.

‘Why are the officials so easily overawed’ It is time the Administration started thinking about conserving all such pieces of the city’s heritage. The tapestry should be cleaned and hung back. If you don’t take care of such tapestries, they will rot. At the same time, keeping them folded for long periods is certain to destroy them,’ she said.

Senior advocate H.S. Gill also expressed concern over the removal of the piece of heritage from the courtroom of the Chief Justice.

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