The Monument to the Indian has been restored to its original glory.
Situated at the far end of the Cascine Park, near to the viaduct of the same name, the project was managed by the city’s fine arts department and cost 240,000 euro.
The cenotaph to Prince Rajaram Chuttraputti, Maharaja of Kolhapur, who died in Florence on November 30, 1870, was designed by the British pioneer of the Indo-Saracenic style, Major “Mad” Charles Mant, whom the prince had commissioned to construct several public buildings in Kolhapur before he left India. Built in the form of a canopy, it rests on four columns and shelters a bust of the prince sculpted by Charles Francis Fuller, the British sculptor who died in Florence in 1875. Each side of the base supporting the bust bears an inscription in one of four languages: Italian, English, Hindi and Punjabi.
“This monument is unique in Florence since it honours the memory of the Maharaja where the Arno river meets the Mugnone torrent, according to the wishes of the family, explained city culture councillor, Tommaso Sacchi.
The restoration was complicated due to the varied composition of the memorial and the state of conservation due to the exposure to the elements: crumbling of the marble and sandstone ornaments, disintegration of the face and bust, and losses in the decoration caused by reconstruction efforts using a variety of techniques over time. The monument also presented a worrying structural deficit on one of the cast iron columns supporting the canopy.
The work commenced in September 2019 and took ten months to complete, considering the pause in the proceedings caused by lockdown.