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  Kala Ghoda statue to stand tall without rider

Kala Ghoda statue to stand tall without rider

Published : Aug 19, 2016, 2:14 am IST
Updated : Aug 19, 2016, 2:14 am IST

In memory of the historic Kala Ghoda statue, which displayed Edward VII mounted on a horse at Kala Ghoda in South Mumbai, the famous Rhythm House junction is set to get a replica of the original bronz

File photo of the original Kala Ghoda statue
 File photo of the original Kala Ghoda statue

In memory of the historic Kala Ghoda statue, which displayed Edward VII mounted on a horse at Kala Ghoda in South Mumbai, the famous Rhythm House junction is set to get a replica of the original bronze statue. However, the new Kala Ghoda art installation will not be placed in the exact location where the original statue stood. It will be installed a few metres away near the Rhythm House traffic island, to avoid confusion. The Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee approved the proposal for the new installation earlier in August.

An official from the MHCC said, “The new statue does not have a rider, and we want to set it up more as a symbolic gesture to commemorate the original statue. It will be a tourist attraction, as the area of Kala Ghoda gets its name due to the statue after all.”

The earlier statue was pulled down in 1965, as the activists then did not want any reminders of the British Raj. It is now housed in Rani Baug in Byculla, as a historic item on display.

Last year, the Kala Ghoda Association proposed reinstalling a replica of the statue, if not the original one, at the same spot where the old statue stood. The MHCC was sceptical of this proposal, as they believed the historic site should not be tampered with by the installation of a non-historic structure in its place.

Recently, after much deliberation, the MHCC gave its approval for the replica. The official quoted above said, “We definitely cannot fix the original one there as it was removed during a political uprising. Especially, with the elections around the corner, we did not want to create any controversy. We are not even calling the new installation ‘Kala Ghoda’. It is an art installation, of a horse without a rider. As the Kala Ghoda art festival happens here, it will be a good icon.” The new statue will be made of bronze and will be mounted on a stone pedestal. Both the statue and the pedestal will be 12-feet-tall. The statue will take up some space of the parking lot outside Rhythm House, but will not eat into the whole space, the official said.