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Mumbai's iconic Fitzgerald Water Fountain & Lamp shines in its erstwhile glory yet again!

The 152-year-old monument in South Bombay has been restored by the BMC Heritage Cell, after 3 long years of hard work.

After 3 years of extensive research and restoration efforts, the BMC Heritage Cell has finally managed to reinstall the erstwhile beauty of Mumbai's 152-year-old Fitzgerald fountain, in all its shining glory! Located at the Vasudev Balwant Phadke Chowk near Metro Cinema in South Bombay, this 45 feet high and 19 feet wide monument was inaugurated by Maharashtra's Guardian Minister on Sunday, ornating the city with its old-age Victorian charm.

The course of Fitzgerald Fountain restoration

Set in wrought iron, this 16-tonne fountain was initially installed in 1867, at the Metro Cinmera Junction by the Esplanade Committee to honour the then Governer of Bombay, William Robert Seymour Vesey-Fitzgerald. Designed and installed by the Barwell & Co.'s Eagle Foundry in Northampton, England, the monument was relocated from Dhobi Talao to the Bhau Daji lad museum in 1962 to resolve the traffic sneers in the city.

BMC took the task of reinstating the Fitzgerald fountain in 2018, after 6 decades of haphazard relocation of the monument. Besides years of neglect and time tear, the Heritage Cell was met with the challenge to scavenge 200 missing pieces of the fountain. Soon a restoration team of 50 experts and staff were brought on board to help prepare the restoration design. This team assisted to conduct research and cast moulds to create replicas of the lost piece to expedite the task at hand.

Similarly, the characteristic lamp of this monument has also been recast. Luckily for the BMC, it found the drawing of a twin fountain made in Eagle foundry in 1863 Northamptonshire. These designers were used to mould a lamp out of aluminium and complete the restoration work.

Fountain to soon be opened for public viewing

Civic officials informed that the work was completed 3 months ago but the inauguration has been staggered due to the present pandemic situation. It will soon be opened for public viewing, they added.

While several call it a symbol of the British tyranny and a reminder of the colonised Bombay Presidency, others revel in the sheer intricacies of the fountain and the spring of nostalgia along with it. What are your thoughts about the restoration? Do let us know in the comments below!

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