The 1800s to the 1850s was a period that can be considered to be the Architectural renaissance in India. Fortunes and large sums were invested into building mansions, palaces, hotels
This is the current address of the billionaire Laxmi Mittal who apparently bought it for £85 million. Reportedly built around the 1840s.
In its 150+ years of existence it must have been bought and sold over twenty times. Each time a sale would have happened, registration taxes and capital gains would have been paid. The City of London has probably made more on this building through time than the amount paid by Laxmi
In another twenty years, this will probably sell for more than £100 million - more money to the city and to its people and to the preservation of its architectural heritage.
What about similar heritage buildings in India?
Take a look at some current images and decide for yourself:
Perhaps heritage buildings in Mumbai have fared better?
[The Watson Hotel, Bombay]
Built around 1867 (much earlier than the Taj Gateway hotel), the Watson Hotel, named after its first owner, is the oldest
It is hard to miss this building in Kala Ghoda. I was going to call this building an eye-sore but realized that
The Majestic Hotel currently houses low-end staff and functions as a
Is this the best use of a heritage building? Does this benefit the city?
The point is that the Archaeological Survey of India is not quite equipped or passionate enough for that matter - I don't think they have the time to focus on heritage buildings. It has to come from private hands - there are many rich industrial houses and individuals who I am sure would be hoping to leave a legacy like a museum or a library for the next generations of Indians - these homes are ideal for that.
Laws need to be passed such that these architecturally important heritage building whose ownership is not clear are taken over by the government and auctioned off to a single private owner for public usage (like a museum or a library). Let the previous owners then fight
The goal of this post was not
P.S. There are probably thousands of such buildings; I have only highlighted two!
P.P.S: There were many other (oil on canvas) portrait painters in Calcutta in the 1800s (why is partly why Ravi Varma did not make much headway with patrons in Calcutta) - and while they have not reached the prominence of Ravi Varma (he was able to spread both his art and his eminence thanks to his printing press) research into these other artists and price discovery continues to happen.
Related: When was Modernism?