Restored at a cost of about Rs12 lakh, the 152-year-old iconic Wellington Fountain is set to be unveiled in its original form this week. It is one of the many restoration projects undertaken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the island city under a public-private-partnership (PPP) model.
“The main task was to remove the multiple layers of paint on the original basalt structure. We had conservationists from INTACH who had worked on it for around two-and-a-half months,” said Vikas Dilawari, a conservation architect who worked on the project.
The two-tiered octagonal fountain is located at the intersection of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg, Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg and MG Road. Originally made of basalt with eight marble statues, the top tier is made of metal and has cast-iron leaves. The fountain also has inscriptions in Latin describing the achievements of the Duke.
The restoration project was funded by Mahindra and Mahindra Limited.
Haresh Bhoir, project manager, corporate infrastructure services at Mahindra said, “We had to take extreme care to remove the layers of paint. Hand tools were used to remove these layers from the eight marble statues.” The restoration work also involved installing new LED water— resistant lighting by replacing the earlier multi-coloured lights. “One of the most astonishing features of the fountain is the water-engineering system which is still intact,” Dilawari added.
Recently, the Kala Ghoda Association (KGA) brought back a black horse to the area. KGA has also undertaken the restoration of the Bomanjee Hormusjee Wadia Clock Tower in Fort. The Grade-3 heritage structure, located at the junction of Bazaar Gate Road and Nariman Perin Street, is being restored at a cost of Rs65 lakh.