French Ambassador and delegates visit Chandigarh

Chandigarh : Chandigarh is committed to preserve it’s rich heritage* *Has made huge strides in restoring the architecture of the city to its original glory* A high level meeting was held today between the French delegation led by His Excellency-Mr Thierry Mathiu, the French Ambassador and Chandigarh Administration, led my Adviser to Administrator Sh. Rajeev Verma.
The visiting French delegation also included Mr. Fabrice Cotelle, Homeland Securiy, Ms. Amandine Roggeman, Cultural, Embassy of France to India and Ms. Ophelie Belin, Director, Alliance Francaise Chandigarh. Participating officers from Chandigarh Administration were Ms. Anindita Mitra, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ms. Hargunjit Kaur, Secretary Tourism and Industries, Sh. Hari Kallikkat, Secretary Culture, Sh. Sumeet Sihag, Director Information Technology, Sh. Kapil Setia, Chief Architect and Sh. C.B. Ojha, Chief Engineer, UT Chandigarh.
The Adviser welcomed the French Ambassador and presented souvenirs to the French delegates. The Chief Architect gave a brief presentation about the background of Chandigarh, its inception, the role of French architects Le Corbousier and Pierre Jeanneret in carving the city and the major highlights of the city’s planning parameters.
The work done on the actionable points decided in the previous visits of the French Missions to Chandigarh were also discussed. The Adviser to the Administrator emphasised upon the significance of partnership between the Chandigarh Administration and the French Government.
The French delegation was keen on understanding the follow up on the two Working Groups sent earlier by the French government. The first Working group was regarding the restoration of UNESCO world heritage sites in the city and the second was for support on technical and legal aspects of stopping the illegal trafficking and auction of heritage furniture items.
During the presentation, the status and progress of restoration works of UNESCO world heritage sites in Chandigarh were apprised to the French Ambassador. Focus has been made on preservation & conservation of the Capitol Complex, especially the concrete façade of the Secretariat & Assembly building. The process undertaken for retrofitting the original tapestries of the Vidhan Sabha and the High Court was also shown.
Deliberations were done regarding illegal auction of heritage furniture items. Chandigarh Administration had sought assistance from the French delegation for accessing the original drawings or data related to furniture items of Chandigarh, being auctioned in different countries. It was also emphasised that process of preservation taken by the French Government on such artifacts may also be shared and training module for such practices may be worked out in coordination with the French Mission.
The French Ambassador appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Chandigarh Administration for preserving the original artifacts related to Le Corbusier including the restoration works done till now and he also pitched for enhanced partnership and cooperation between the French government and the UT Chandigarh Administration.


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