Scratch the decades of paint (and grime) in this heritage city and you never know what treasure you will find. Shahid Minar, the city’s oldest monument which has been white for as long as anyone can remember, actually has a beautiful bronze dome — a new ‘crown’ for Kolkata, as it were.
The Eureka moment for Kolkata came about a fortnight after a controversy over why the ‘white’ dome suddenly seemed to be acquiring a blue tinge. The explanation was that the heritage landmark was being renovated, but people wondered if it, too, was being painted blue to match chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream of a true blue city. But when workers engaged to repair and restore the monument scraped off the white paint, they unearthed the monument’s metal plated dome. Not only the millions who pass Esplanade daily, even historian Barun De and writer Shankar were unaware that the 184-yearold monument had a bronze cap. Terming it an important discovery, De congratulated the team that had decided to restore the monument to its original glory.