Taj Mahal Bangladesh
Taj Mahal Bangladesh (Bengali: তাজ মহল বাংলাদেশ)is a scaled copy of the original Taj Mahal (a Mughal mausoleum located in Agra, India) located 10 miles east of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka in Sonargaon. Unlike the original, work on the building took only five years. Ahsanullah Moni, a wealthy Bangladeshi film-maker, announced his 'Copycat version of Taj Mahal' project in December 2008. The project cost about USD$56 Million, and was built 20 miles northeast of Capital Dhaka. Moni has explained that he built a replica of the Taj Mahal so that the poor of his nation can realise their dream of seeing neighbouring India's famed monument. This caused complaints from Indian officials, "You can't just go and copy historical monuments" an official of Indian High Commission in Dhaka told press.
Construction began in 2003, but Mr Moni says that he came up with the idea in 1980 when he first visited the real Taj in Agra, India. He said that his homage had been built because most people living in Bangladesh - where nearly half of the population exist below the poverty line - cannot afford to travel to India to see the real thing. "Everyone dreams about seeing the Taj Mahal but very few Bangladeshis can make the trip because it's too expensive for them," he said. Mr Moni first visited the original in 1980 and has made six return trips. So enamoured was he of the site that he hired a group of architects and sent them to India to measure it. He said: “I used the same marble and stone as in the original Taj. We used machinery, which is why it took less time. Otherwise it would have taken 20 years and 22,000 workers to complete it.” Last night Mr Mittal, at the Indian High Commission, did concede that the replica was unlikely to detract from the magnificence of the original. He also admitted that visitors were unlikely to mix up one with the other. “A copy is a form of flattery, I suppose,” he said.
Taj Mahal in Bangladesh
The construction of the replica had irritated the Indian High Commission in Dhaka. Early reports said the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh says it will sue Ahsanullah Moni (Bengali: অহসানুল্লাহ মনি) for copyright infringement of the original 350-year-old building; however, the Indian High Commission later announced that the replica was unlikely to detract visitors from the original.
The building was picked up by many news channels, newspapers and sites, including the BBC, Sky, Reuters, Voice of America, Hindustan Times, Guardian and The Times, and caused large discussion and debate on social networking sites and blogs.
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- "New Taj Mahal opens in Bangladesh | Video". Reuters. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- Sonargaon, Bangladesh (2 January 2009). "Bangladesh Gets a Preview of Faux Taj Mahal". .voanews.com. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- "India fumes at duplicate Bangladeshi Taj Mahal". Hindustan Times. India. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- Randeep Ramesh in Delhi (10 December 2008). "Bangladeshi director to build mini-Taj Mahal". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- Frances Gibb Legal Editor (12 October 2011). "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". Entertainment.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- "Replica Taj Mahal Near Dhaka Welcomes Visitors – Bangladesh Blog | By Bangladesh Channel". Bangladesh.com. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
- "Bangla Taj Mahal!! Shame or Pride for us?". Facebook. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
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