Mumbai: Shiv Sena revives demand for life-size statue of Shivaji outside CSMT building

Updated: Dec 23, 2019, 14:41 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Work on a 25-feet-tall statue had been stopped in 2016 citing the Railways' rules and regulations

A team of JJ artists was working on the statue and around R60 lakh was spent on it before the funding was stopped
A team of JJ artists was working on the statue and around R60 lakh was spent on it before the funding was stopped

The Shiv Sena on Sunday revived its demand for a life-size statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the front courtyard of CSMT premises and said they would raise the issue in Parliament to get it done as early as possible. While the ruling party is making a strong case for the statue, the bronze sculpture of Shivaji Maharaj which was meant to be placed near CSMT is lying abandoned in a workshop at Wadi Bunder.

A team of JJ artists had been working on a 25-feet tall statue since 2016. The original plan was to place the statue in front of platform 18 near the entry-exit on P D'Mello Road. But after spending R60 lakh on the project, the funding was stopped citing an Indian Railways (IR) 1970s circular (mid-day has a copy).

The circular states that installations of statues of national leaders in station premises is prohibited as railway premises are 'not considered appropriate places to honour national heroes. The word statue includes plaques, murals and memorials.' " I have been fighting for the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to be placed outside CSMT. I had warned the last time that I want the statue in the front of the terminus and not on platform 18 in the rear. I shall raise the issue in Parliament again," Sena MP Arvind Sawant told mid-day.

While railway officials and JJ School of Arts team refused to be drawn into the political controversy preferring to remain quiet, heritage activists said that besides the IRs1970s circular, CSMT, being a UNESCO-listed structure, will have limitations when it comes to installation of any new object in its premise.

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