CHANDIGARH: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has turned down the request of the UT administration to declare works of Swiss-French master architectLe Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret as art treasure under Antiquities and Art Treasures Act 1972. 

The ASI, in its reply, said, "Art treasure should bear some determinable sign of direct artistic contribution of the author concerned. Moreover, there are several instances where replicas of original art objects are sold as genuine work of art in the international market. Hence, authentication of each art work becomes more essential before considering them as art treasure. Thus, the items or objects don't fall in the AAT Act 1972." 

The development is disheartening for the UT eagerly hoping for help from the ASI to save heritage items being smuggled out of the city and landing up in auctions abroad. 

The administration, in a detailed letter to the ASI director general recently, had pointed out lack of adequate legal provisions as a major bottleneck in checking the smuggling.