Heritage fountain in south Mumbai gets restored

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A grade II heritage structure in south Mumbai, the Ruttonsee Mulji Memorial fountain, has received a fresh new look after Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) restored it with the help of Kala Ghoda Association (KGA), which was unveiled by the Civic Chief Ajoy Mehta.

Civic officials stated that the fountain, located at the junction of P D’Mello Road and Mint Road, is built of stone in the Indo-Saracenic style created by the British in a bid to merge British and Indian sensibilities. It was built by a merchant Ruttonsee Mulji Esquire in honour of his late and only son, Dharamsee (15), whose statue crowns the structure. It was presented to BMC on January 8, 1894 and was designed by 19th-century architect F W Stevens and sculpted by John Griffiths, head of Sir J J School of Arts.

Conservation architect Vikas Dilwari, who restored the sculpture, said, “When it comes to looking after monuments and fountains, people used to keep painting them earlier. We removed the paint with the help of a machine imported from Italy and also restored missing pieces in the stone. It took a lot of research to find its sink and pipe sources and activate them. We have also improved surroundings by creating a small landscape.

Padmanabh Thombare from Kala Ghoda Association said, “Restoration of the fountain was part of our efforts toward conserving heritage monuments in the city. Earlier, we have restored iconic heritage sites such as the Kala Ghoda statue, Wadia clock tower, Horniman Circle garden etc.”