As the new year rings in, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai’s art district, will get back the black horse statue that gave the area its name, but without King Edward VII on its back.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will unveil the ‘Spirit of Kala Ghoda’ — the 25-foot-high statue — at the Kala Ghoda parking lot on Tuesday.
Created by the Kala Ghoda Association (KGA), the statue will finally give the area the symbol that once defined it.
“The art precinct of Kala Ghoda derives the name from the equestrian statue of King Edward VII seated on a black horse (Kala Ghoda),” said Maneck Davar, chairman of the KGA, while adding, “But the statue, like all other signs of colonialism, has now been consigned to the zoo (at the Veer Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan). Yet, the memory of this iconic statue persists in the generic name.”
The association, which also conducts the Kala Ghoda Art Festival, has restored two other heritage structures — Bomanjee Hormarjee Wadia Clock Tower located at Fort and Seth Gangalal V Mulji Nandlal Religious & Charitable Trust Pyav at Horniman Circle — that will be inaugurated this week.
The heritage structures have a history of more than 100 years.
“They (two structures) were in dilapidated state. We had two choices, either to let the structures which shaped the heritage of the city rot and collapse, or to revamp it. We decided to choose the latter option,” Davar said, while adding that the landmark structures now wear a similar look and have added to the life span of the monuments.
The clock tower and pyav will be open for public from January 5 and will be inaugurated by municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta.