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NRI wants to restore Golden Temple door
H S Rao in London | December 01, 2004 11:40 IST
A non-resident Indian entrepreneur on Tuesday offered to pay for the restoration of the 300-year-old door at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
"The door, known as Darshani Deori at the main entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, has a historic significance and I am prepared to pay for its conservation and restoration," Dr Kartar Singh Lalvani said in London.
The 73-year-old Lalvani, founder chairman of Vitabiotics, Britain's first specialist vitamin supplement company, who is also interested in the preservation of artefacts, said the door was originally part of the historic Somnath Temple in Gujarat before it was plundered by raiders from Afghanistan.
Lalvani, winner of the Asian of the Year award last year, said it was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who secured the door from the then ruler of Afghanistan Shah Zaman as part of a treaty after he defeated the marauders from Kabul. The door was then offered to Somnath Temple but it was turned down.
A report quoted to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee executive member Kiranjot Kaur said the committee had recently decided to replace the door because its condition has deteriorated.
The work was to be entrusted to the Birmingham-based Sikh missionary organisation Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewa Jatha and plans had already been drawn up to import special timber from Africa.
However, everything came to a halt after leading conservation experts began questioning the wisdom of the decision.
Lalvani, who supports many art events and foundations such as the local community theatre 'Open for All', concurred with Gurmit Rai, a leading expert on conservation of historical monuments, that the Darshani Deori was of great historical importance and efforts must first be directed at ascertaining whether it was possible to restore it.
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