Saturday, December 13, 2008

India Angry Over Fake Taj Mahal

Tensions between Bangladesh and India have escalated after it emerged a film director is constructing a life-size copy of the Taj Mahal.

The replica Taj Mahal is being built to the exact size

The Indian embassy in Bangladesh has voiced its displeasure over the exact copy - and is hoping to sue for copyright infringement.

A spokesman at the Indian High Commission in Dhaka fumed: "You can't just go and copy historical monuments.

"Someone will go out there and have a look. The reports we are reading say it is an exact replica."

The original Taj Mahal

The £38m building, commissioned by wealthy director Ahsanullah Moni, will be located about 20 miles north east of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.

Construction began five years ago but Mr Moni says he came up with the idea in 1980 after first visiting the original "Monument to Love" in Agra, India.

He has imported marble and granite from Italy, diamonds from Belgium and used 160kg of bronze for the dome.

In support of his project, he said: "Everyone dreams about seeing the Taj Mahal but very few Bangladeshis can make the trip because it's too expensive for them."

The construction site of the replica Taj Mahal

The Indian High Commission says it hopes to sue Mr Moni for copyright infringement.

But Joel Smith, intellectual property partner at law firm Herbert Smith LLP, questioned that suggestion.

He said: "If Indian law is anything like English law, any claim would be way out of the scope of the protection."

Mr Smith added that in England, copyright in the plans for a building only lasts for 70 years after the death of the architect.

The original Taj Mahal palace was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631.


Remarks: If the argument goes like that, pretty soon, we can have fake Statue of Liberty, fake Leaning Tower of Pisa, fake Eiffel Tower, etc...

1 comment:

*lynne* said...

hmm this is a little weird... I suppose if the 70 years after architect's death thing holds true, then legally there's no recourse... but still,,, why build a to-scale replica??! It really will dilute the uniqueness of the original Taj Mahal!

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