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No to Ricky Martin at Taj

Latin American pop star Ricky Martin was refused a show at the Taj Mahal on Feb 25.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 12:57 IST

Latin American heartthrob Ricky Martin's much hyped show at the Taj Mahal on Feb 25 doesn't look like it is happening with archaeological authorities refusing to give the green signal.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials said permission had initially been denied for holding the performance at the Taj Mahal due to restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court.

The organisers of the show had then zeroed in on the Taj Khema mound, 500 m from the Taj Mahal, from where former US president Bill Clinton read out his environmental message to the world six years ago. But the ASI had reservations about this too because of its proximity to the Taj Mahal.

But the main hurdle, according to a district official, is that the venue could accommodate a very small audience. "One expects several thousands to attend the concert, but the venue can hold only a few hundred."

So, for the moment at least, the international pop star's UNESCO-sponsored show to promote AIDS awareness appears all but cancelled unless the organisers decide to postpone the date and select an alternative site.

District officials said the organisers had not contacted them to seek permission for another venue for the show.

If music lovers are disappointed, so are tourism circles. The show could have helped boost tourism in a big way, said Sandeep Arora, president of the Hotels and Restaurants Association.

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 12:57 IST